INTERVIEW — TAPE #43, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Russell BellP: unidentified patient at medical group officesN: Ann, medical group employeeD: dermatologistS: Shanta McDavis, medical group employee
Q: It’s still Tuesday night and I just killed another cockroach in my bathroom. One of the things that I sometimes think about working on my book is that it’s not as poetic as I’d like it to be. So, for this interlude, I think I’ll talk a little more cryptically.
from outer space
they’re all ready
cockroaches they’re all ready
cockroaches they’re all ready here
cockroaches they’re all ready here waiting
cockroaches they’re already here waiting
POWELL CHEST WHITE
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Disney cel dragons
The Last Supper
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I M P R O V E YOUR HAIR WITH PANTENE® PRO-V®
U N V E I L THE HEALTHY SHINE
SONG OF THE BELL
The World of Beatrix Potter™
A Handbook of Theological Terms (“SSS”)
Q: Tonight, I was editing the tapes that featured Love’s Awakening because my horoscope said to check source material. And I found some typos. So thank you, Mighael. It really is much more of a collaboration now than it was when I first started.
( . . . )
Q: Now I’m beginning to wonder about the other things I own that I’ve gotten over the years like the lovely plate that my friend Jay Marc’s mother gave me. It’s beautiful. It looks like the work of a famous artist to me. And then I have two beautiful modern pieces that I got at a Paramount estate sale. I don’t know how to describe them really. (“BUT”) They’re very modern. I also have an antique print — it looks like it might have come from a book but it might be a watercolor drawing of some sort. It’s of St. Denis and it’s beautiful. I got that from my friend Ted who also sold me a painted wooden duck (“KKK”) and a beautiful, unique green glass vase at the time he moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Actually, it’s a swan and not a duck. It’s been broken in places and glued back together but it still looks beautiful. It has a lot of character. I think he said he got it at Cost Plus but if you like something it doesn’t really matter how much money you pay. I also have two beautiful lithographs. They’re numbered. I can’t quite make out the artist’s signature but I think he was a Hispanic artist. (“AND”) They’re of birds. One’s just a big one of a bird. And the other one has four birds in various stages. I purchased these from (“LIKE”) an art-of-the-month club. (“SO”) I’d be very surprised if they were worth a lot but there’s no accounting for taste. And I love a beautiful mirror I have which I just happened to get at a little place on Melrose. There’s a lot of these around but it’s just a nice piece.
( . . . )
Q: “There is only one.” Do you remember that line in “The Exorcist”? If there is only one, there obviously is only One. God. If there had been God and a Devil he would have said, “There is only two.” I am the ‘Antichrist.’ I admit it. There’s no denying it. I mean but who ever said an ‘Antichrist’ can’t be nice? After all, E=MC.
( . . . )
Q: I’m looking at Nostradamus . . . by Francis X. King. His translation says, “The Antichrist very soon annihilates the three . . .” Well, since I am the ‘Antichrist,’ I can tell you what that means. Until now, people always thought there would be three Antichrists: Napoleon, Hitler and Mabus. But I’m here to tell you there is only one Antichrist. E=MC. I guess you know who wrote the Holy Bible or, at least, who edited it. Jesus. Who would know that? Antijesus. Jesus invented hell. You had to believe in him. And I am here to tell you there is no hell if you truly believe in me. I am not evil.
( . . . )
Q: This is so funny. I’m here reading about “The Messiah of Evil.” It’s so funny. In this book, it says:
Ever since Christianity was in its infancy, the word ‘Antichrist’ has been used to describe any extraordinarily wicked person . . . The views of Saint Roberto Bellarmine (1542-1651) regarding the origins of the Antichrist were typical of those held by theologians living at the same time of Nostradamus. Bellarmine believed that the father of the Antichrist would be an incubus — that is, a demon who has sexual congress with human females — and that his mother would be a practitioner of black magic.
A Dominican friar of the 17th century asserted that the coming Antichrist would not only be fathered by a devil but would be:
. . . as malicious as a madman, with such wickedness as was never seen on earth . . . he will treat Christians as condemned souls are treated in hell. He will have a multitude of Synagogue names, and he will be able to fly when he wishes. Beelzebub will be his ather, Lucifer his grandfather.
Q: Oh my God. I mean I’m sitting here eating Hershey’s chocolates leftover from Christmas and I’m just dumbfounded. These chocolates are good. I was remembering when I went to lunch with Paul Amirault, who I thought was a very nice man, and I was quite honest with him about this. It was so funny. I mean even in the restroom I said, (“THAT” “YOU KNOW LIKE”) “My book is the reincarnation of the Holy Bible. Except it has a sense of humor.” And he said, “Oh, yes,” zipping up his pants, “that really was a dry . . .” I can’t remember his exact words but he said something like, “That was very dry and dull.” So, I thought that was funny. But I’m nice. I’m nice. And my message is “God is love” so how could anyone perceive me as “Evil!”
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: A MUSICAL INTERLUDE FOLLOWS AS I SUCCESSIVELY TAPED BRIEF EXCERPTS FROM SONGS ON MY TWO CD SET ENTITLED “THE VERY BEST OF ELTON JOHN.”)
Don’t go breaking my heart
I couldn’t if I tried
( . . . )
That sorry seems to be the hardest word.
What have I got to do to make you love me
( . . . )
But more than ever I simply love you
More than I love life itself
( . . . )
If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
When every single word makes sense
( . . . )
To make a chain of fools
You need a matching pair
( . . . )
Just look towards the West and find a friend
Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
( . . . )
Woh oh oh, woh oh, woh oh, oh yeah
It gets so hard sometimes to understand
( . . . )
It’s two hearts living
In two separate worlds.
( . . . )
If you knew me like you know him
You would know just how I feel
( . . . )
You can beat the clock but before highnoon
You gotta love someone
( . . . )
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
( . . . )
And all this science,
I don’t understand.
( . . . )
Well, I quit those days and my redneck ways,
And oh, oh, oh, oh, the change is gonna do me good.
( . . . )
Oh! Lawdy mama those Friday nights,
When Suzie wore her dresses tight,
( . . . )
Do you still feel the pain
Of the scars that won’t heal?
( . . . )
Mongrels, who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for the tit-bits like you on the ground.
( . . . )
A couple of the sounds that I really like
Are the sound of a switchblade and a motorbike,
( . . . )
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name.
( . . . )
Too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life.
( . . . )
Yeah! Gave me peace of mind my daddy never had.
Oh Philadelphia freedom shine on me, I love you
( . . . )
I’m strangled by your haunted social scene
Just a pawn out-played by a dominating queen.
( . . . )
I thought I was the Bally table king.
But I just handed my pinball crown to him.
( . . . )
I’m a bitch I’m a bitch
Oh, the bitch is back
( . . . )
And now it’s up to us babe
Oh I think we can make it.
( . . . )
Q: Actually, I had been looking for a Hall and Oates album I borrowed from my brother with the song “Kiss On My List.” Oh, well, anyway.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: WHILE WAITING FOR MY APPOINTMENT WITH THE DERMATOLOGIST THAT MY BROTHER RECOMMENDED, A YOUNG MAN—DESIGNATED ‘P’—SAT DOWN NEXT TO ME SO I DECIDED TO INTERVIEW HIM. THIS PART OF TAPE WAS RECORDED ON THE SLOWER SPEED SO AUDIBILITY IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN USUAL. BECAUSE OF THIS, A NUMBER OF SPIRIT MESSAGES WERE UNCLEAR AND LEFT UNTRANSCRIBED. I FOUND MY OLYMPUS PEARLCORDER TRANSCRIBING MACHINE GAVE ME THE BEST RESULTS FOR THIS SPEED OF TAPE. I FORGOT TO ASK ANN HER LAST NAME. THIS MEDICAL GROUP RECENTLY CLOSED.)
Q: Do you want a mint?
P: Yeah. Please.
P: Ohh, (“OHH”) this thing hurts. How are you doing? (“I”)
Q: I just have an infected cyst. I’m one of the lucky ones.
P: I have an infection in my damn leg. (“HIT”) It’s killing me.
P: I had some surgery. On my knee. I still have stitches in it now — now my damn leg’s all hurt. It’s infected in there somewhere.
Q: Um-huh. I found a great new prayer to say at night.
P: Oh yeah?
Q: It’s really (“OH”) ‘New Wave.’ I mean ‘New Age.’
Q: Both. (“ACTUALLY”) It’s just “Adam and Eve suck.”
P: (small laugh)
Q: And “I surrender my life and will to God.”
P: There you go.
Q: It really works. It really works. (“HANGMENO”) Apparently, He’s got a problem with Adam and Eve.
P: (small laugh)
Q: And He hasn’t gotten over it.
P: (small laugh) Oh gosh. I haven’t been in here in a long time. I’ve had thirteen surgeries this year.
Q: Is it HIV?
P: Yeah, it’s HIV. (“I”) I haven’t checked in a while. Still like 450 or something. I don’t know. I have drugs.
Q: Well, I know a lot about HIV because I work on the Southern California HIV/AIDS Hotline.
P: I got it from bad blood.
Q: Really? How long ago was that?
P: Four years ago.
Q: I thought that they had stopped doing that.
P: Well, I thought they stopped doing that too. (laughs) That’s how I got it. They notified me. (“I AM”) And then I waited —
Q: I’ve read some articles recently about other people that’s been happening to, so (“NO”) it’s going on.
P: They, well — my friend got it through that dentist in Glendale. They traced eight cases from him.
Q: Really? Because I haven’t heard of a single case that has been proven to involve a dentist.
P: Yeah, this guy — they just nailed him.
Q: Really? (“ITO”) I didn’t read about that in the newspaper.
P: Yeah. It went to court. It was in the paper about a month ago. (“I”)
Q: I didn’t read it. (“MMM”) It must have been buried in the back.
P: Yeah, they’re breaking him (“HIS” “THE BOMB”) and they took his license away.
P: He wasn’t cleaning the equipment.
Q: Oh my goodness. But see — (“GET AWAY FROM ME”) especially with my experience working on the Hotline —
P: And they said he had it and was giving it to people because he was pissed or something.
Q: Well, I guess America better wake up real quick.
P: Oh God. Everybody’s going to have it. It’s just going crazy.
P: Oh God. I wish they’d call me. This thing hurts. (“YEAH BUT YOU LOVE IT” “I DON’T BLAME”) (sighs) (“GIVE ME” “I” “WOULD IT BE” “THIS IS”)
Q: Just an infection?
P: Yeah. I (“KNEE”) just had a knee cap put in. (“THEY’LL TAKE AWAY” “BRING ME”) It all started five days ago. They shot me in the leg with Demerol. (“N” “BRING”) From then on, the infection started here and went up.
Q: Do you think if they hadn’t given you the shot —
P: Oh yeah.
Q: — it would be fine?
P: Yeah. It started here — something.
Q: Maybe you should look into holistic medicine. (“YEAH” “BEFORE”)
P: I don’t know what the hell’s going on. It’s hurting.
Q: Positive imagery is very good too I understand. (“YOUR MMM”) If you say, (“CONTENT”) “Go, T-cells, go.” That’s definitely effective.
P: Oh, it’s all in the mind too.
Q: Exactly. But that’s a very simple statement.
P: My friend has had it fifteen years.
Q: Really? (“NO” “AND HE’S STILL” “GOING” “COME ON”)
P: Going strong. Never been sick yet. (“TED”)
Q: What’s his name?
P: Ted. (“TED DOWNEY”)
Q: Oh, okay.
P: Noble? (“NO”) Knowlton? (“WHO’S”) No but I know.
Q: Noble probably. (“UM-HUH”) To have it for fifteen years.
P: He’s still sitting at 200.
Q: I know about someone named Michael who had been like that. It’s like wherever I go there are people named Christian or Michael or Noble. (“BLER”)
Q: Yes. Oh, well, good luck.
P: You take care now.
Q: Okay. Hi.
Q: Very good.
N: Great. Okay . . .
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I AM TAKEN TO BE WEIGHED.)
N: With the bag?
Q: Should I take off my shoes too?
N: No. See, because we know that. (“I”)
Q: I did this at the gym the other day and I was 208 then. (“REALLY”)
N: Great. (O)kay, so you’re — and a jacket and everything else like that.
Q: And I haven’t gone to the bathroom.
N: (small laugh) (“HHUU”) Do you want me to get your vitals before you go to the bathroom?
Q: No, I don’t have to go right now. I’m —
N: Oh, okay. (small laugh)
Q: — just sort of a joke, I guess. Should I take off my jacket or can I leave it on? It’s sort of cool in here.
N: Okay. Sure. I’m just going to do your stuff here — oh, I’m sorry . . .
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I TURNED MY TAPE RECORDER ON AGAIN DURING VITAL SIGN TESTS.)
Q: Oh. How much — how far up do I have to move?
N: Just, like, right here.
Q: Okay. Well, I — (“I’LL TAKE A”)
Q: Ohh ohh ohh.
N: (small laugh)
Q: I’m squeamish whenever it comes to this.
( . . . )
Q: Really. But I’m getting over it.
N: (small laugh) Okay, turn your tongue. (“PUT IT”)
N: Yeah, underneath. (“HUMOR”)
Q: It’s hard for me.
N: We’ll be glad to help you. Okay now close your mouth. Right here.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE THERMOMETER BEEPS AND THEN BEGINS BEEPING REPEATEDLY.)
N: Okay. (“THINK” “WHY — WHY”)
Q: Why were you laughing?
N: (small laugh) Because it didn’t work. It wasn’t in your mouth all the way. So —
Q: Maybe it’s me.
N: (laughs) What are you trying to say? (“TOO MANY”)
Q: Do you know my brother, Michael Russell?
N: Do I know Michael Russell?
Q: Yeah. He’s my brother. (“OH”)
N: Oh really? (“YEAH” “YEAH”)
Q: He’s my twin brother. So you probably recognize me — I mean you probably remember him from looking at me.
N: Um-huh. (“LOOKING”) I guess you do look a little familiar and you’re new here, right?
Q: Yeah, it’s my first day.
N: (small laugh) 132 over 84.
Q: Is that good?
N: Oh, it’s great.
Q: Okay, great. (“DO YOU”) Perfectly normal?
Q: Oh good. Okay.
N: Okay. And are you currently taking any kind of medication right now?
N: Are you allergic to any kind of medication that you know of?
Q: No. (“BRING”) I’d probably think twice about penicillin though. It’s been talked about that. (“WELL”) I don’t know.
Q: I’m actually, like, a Christian Scientist so all my life I’ve never really taken medicine. (“WHO”) And it’s worked fine. I must say. I’m here for an infected cyst I think.
N: Oh really? (“BUT UM”)
Q: There’ve been a few weird fainting spells. And, anyway. (“HOW GREAT”)
Q: So they said “low blood sugar.” (“YEAH”) So I might be borderline diabetic. So I try to watch my salt. (“INTAKE YEAH” “I”) Okay, well, nice meeting you. What’s your name?
N: I’m Ann. (“HUHH”) Okay, he’ll be in shortly.
( . . . )
D: Hi, how are you? (“HI”)
Q: Hi, I’m Michael’s brother, Mark.
Q: Nice to meet you.
D: Good to meet you.
Q: I don’t know if he mentioned me to you or anything.
D: I think he mentioned — yeah. I saw the name and I thought, “Huh.” Scheduled right when I usually see him.
Q: Right. So, yeah, twin.
D: I see some similarity.
Q: Um-huh. Cloning, you know. Actually, I read an article recently that did say twins really were clones. Anyway, (“YOU KNOW THAT’S”) that’s what they said. There was this article on twins and it said genetically they really are clones.
D: Identical twins.
Q: So I guess I’m a clone.
D: Very good. Except your hair’s a different color.
Q: I put some oil in it today.
D: His is longer, isn’t it?
Q: Well, he dyes his.
Q: This is the color his should be. But, of course, he works in Hollywood where everyone dyes their hair.
D: (laughs) (“AND VERY”)
Q: And I’m talking even pubic hair.
D: Well, I’m sure. Well, that’s good.
Q: So I’ve had two previous dermatologists. I do have dermatitis, which I inherited from my father. (“I”) I don’t have HIV. I did have one infected cyst once before. This is the one right here. (“SEE”) It’s right in the back of my neck — the one I want you to look at. I also have a little thing right here but it’s not really a problem for me. It just sort of gets bigger and littler right (“HERE”) here near my ear. (“SO”) But that’s very little.
D: Right here?
Q: Can you feel it?
Q: It doesn’t really cause me pain. It’s just sometimes it gets big.
Q: What is that even?
D: You can call it a whitehead — you can call it a cyst. They’re matters of degrees.
Q: Right. Well, this is not a whitehead — I’ve had it for a long time.
D: What we might do if you (“WILL”) want. It looks a little inflamed.
Q: Yeah, exactly.
D: We can inject a little medicine into it. That will probably quiet it down. It might shrink it up. I wouldn’t get more aggressive than that. (“WELL”)
Q: Well, I would stay away from that — for me because I’m sort of a Christian Scientist.
D: Oh, okay. (“BUT”)
Q: So there’s no pus build-up in there or anything?
D: It doesn’t look like it.
Q: I would suggest just lancing it or something. I mean just (“LIKE”) it’s been there for a long time and sometimes it gets big and little. Anyway, this is (“THE”) the one I really came in for. Right here there’s something. This was the one here.
D: This is a little cyst.
Q: Yeah. (“AND SO”) That’s been very uncomfortable for me for a long time.
D: That bothers you?
Q: It bothers me, yeah. (“NEED TO” “I KNOW”)
D: I don’t (“SEE A”) know if we can take a look today. (“WHY”)
Q: Well, plus the neck is an area that makes me nervous. I mean I just kept hoping it would go away. Aren’t the macrophages supposed to eat that stuff up?
D: If it’s foreign material. But a cyst is made of your own component.
Q: But it gets big and sometimes it almost goes away but then it comes back.
D: That’s right. Because the lining is not foreign material. But sometimes the reason it gets inflamed is because it gets a little irritated, a little infected —
Q: I see.
D: — so the bacteria — it looks at — inflammation — that causes swelling. And all these macrophages and white cells come in. (“THE” “MICHAEL TOLD ME” “MONDAY”)
Q: Michael also told me to ask you about — if you have some kind of cream or lotion that you gave him which might be helpful for my dermatitis too.
D: Where is it? What kind of dermatitis?
Q: Well, my first dermatologist basically said if it doesn’t bother you not to let it worry you. But I have a really bad case of dermatitis.
D: That’s a very general term . . .
Q: Well, see, look at my skin.
Q: You know? I mean the spots and everything.
D: Oh, were you scratching? It looks like you were scratching there.
Q: Well, no — these are just scars from old — I have a very bad case of dermatitis.
Q: It’s worse than Michael’s. So I was hoping that maybe some lotion or something might help. (“IT’S”) It’s been very bad.
D: Do you have any (“NO”) history of allergies, hay fevers?
Q: Allergies, yes. (“NO”) Right now it’s not bad. My dermatitis is not bad. But I’m always looking for good cream. I’ve been using this wonderful cream I got at Bodyography. I can’t remember what it’s called. (“BUT IT”) It’s very good, though. It works for me. It’s purple and it’s herbal. Anyway. I’ll remember what it is eventually. (“HUMPH”) Plus — and I also went to Oklahoma. And I had some strange things I never had before. (“M”) And it was almost like radiation burns. (“SSS”) I mean it’s not bad now or anything but have you ever had anyone come here with those?
D: I’m not quite sure what you mean. (“WH”)
Q: No, I’m not quite sure either. It was just something that I noticed. It’s really weird.
D: Is it there now?
Q: Well, it is. I can show you real quick. (“NO”)
Q: Well, it’s probably not worth you seeing because it’s not bad now. It was just a very strange — (“WELL” “I”) it was almost like I had a missing time — (“WHA”) what do you call — ‘missing time’ — like a UFO — I mean I was in Oklahoma in this UFO area and I had these strange (“IDEA” “UM”) radiation burns. (“NO”)
Q: I’ll show it to you real quick. (“IT — IT”) But it’s fine now I think. I mean I did put lotion on it. See here. (“UM-HUH” “AA”)
D: And when were you in Oklahoma?
Q: In August.
D: You scratched that?
Q: No, I don’t.
D: Is it itchy?
D: Okay, let’s see then if I —
Q: I’ve always had — my dermatitis is always — you can probably see —
D: Have you been putting anything on it?
Q: I put aloe vera on it. Mostly that. (“BUT”) I have other problems though too because (“YOU KNOW”) I had been with this family who had a poltergeist. So yeah, I know, it’s a really weird story and I’m writing a book about it. And my friends thought I was possessed and so they had me institutionalized. So that’s why I really didn’t get treatment for my radiation burn.
D: Hmm. (“YEAH”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: ALSO, MY TRIP TO OKLAHOMA COINCIDED WITH AN UNCOMFORTABLE ABSCESS ON MY BACK THAT, TO MY RELIEF, DISCHARGED DURING A SHOWER AT THE HOTEL.)
Q: And, plus, in order to get out, I had to start seeing a shrink who I’m no longer seeing. I am seeing a therapist now. (“BUT”) I’m very happy. It’s no longer a problem. I mean I’m no longer feeling overwhelmed by having encountered the supernatural.
D: Well, that’s good.
D: That can be very disarming.
Q: Exactly. It’s a fascinating case. So you’ll have to read the book when it comes out.
D: I’ll look forward to it. One minute. I’ll be right back.
D: Are you sure you don’t want just an injection — (“YOU”) a drop of medicine into there? (“NO[T]” “UH”)
Q: Well, if we’re not going to do this today. Why don’t we wait to see how bad it is the next time I come in for this one.
D: Okay, hang on.
( . . . )
D: Try this on the red spots.
Q: Oh, okay. And what is this —
D: Diprolene. It’s to help the redness go away.
Q: Okay, great.
D: But not on your face.
Q: Okay, fine.
D: Okay. (“I TR[Y]”)
D: What kind of stuff do you use?
Q: I try to use very gentle things like Nutragena-type soaps or lotions even because I’m sort of allergic to soap. (“LOOK”)
D: Try this or Dove or something.
Q: Oil of Olay, right.
D: That’s very good.
Q: Yeah. Well, my dad says (“WHY”) water. He calls it ‘moisturall’ — wait, what does he say? He made some joke about moisturelle or something. Meaning water. (“SO”) Because all his life he’s been looking for things.
Q: Yeah. I even wonder about the hypo-allergenic soaps. I mean that’s how sensitive my skin is. (“OKAY”) But, anyway, I’ll try it. I mean I (“MIGHT AS WELL”) — actually right now my skin is fine — just to give you some idea about how bad it’s been in the past. (“NN”)
D: It’s all relative.
Q: Exactly. (“AND I GUESS IT” “LIKE THEY CAN SAY”) My doctor said, “Well if it doesn’t bother you.” And it doesn’t really bother me. But this one on the back of my neck bothers me.
D: Okay, that’ll be no problem. (“OKAY”)
D: We’d just need to plan for it.
Q: Yeah, and I mean it’s like (“I’M PERSONALLY THINKING”) what if it was some kind of alien transmitting device? But I’m sure it’s not. I’m sure it’s just a pus buildup.
D: No, I think it’s just a cyst.
Q: Yeah. No, I’m sure it is. I’m sure. I just have a wonderful sense of humor about these things now.
D: Well, that’s good. (“NO”)
Q: Okay, now what is this? This is for that lotion?
D: Yeah. That will help smooth out your skin.
Q: And can I get that in the pharmacy here?
D: Uh-huh. (“SO I”)
Q: Is there a wait for that?
D: Oh, what do you mean? (“I MEAN”)
Q: Well, do they have it available or do they have to make it up?
D: Oh no no no. They should have it in stock.
Q: Okay, great. (“OH”)
D: Lactic acid lotion — it’s pretty good.
Q: Lactic acid — what does it say exactly?
Q: Well, thank you. Today’s one of those days. (“DID HE”)
D: Why? (“I”)
Q: You won’t believe this. (“HAS MI[CHAEL] I KNOW”) Has Michael told you about our mom? (“NO”) She’s got problems — you know, alcohol problems and things.
D: Oh really?
Q: I have to get a restraining order downtown. For my mom.
Q: Because she’s threatening me. Can you believe that? (“NO”) It’s like my life has been so full of challenges recently.
D: How does she threaten you?
Q: “I’m coming over there — having you institutionalized so I can take all your money and take control of your life.” She’s threatened to kill Michael before — my brother. When she found out he was gay. She said she was “going to go to Orion” when he was working there “and start (“SH”) blasting.” (“SHE”) When you’re an alcoholic, you just keep crossing over the line and you don’t even realize it. Ever since the O. J. Simpson trial was over she has nothing to do except torment herself about her relationship with her kids. So I’m going to let her — (“GIVE HER”) make her find a new hobby.
D: Oh my.
Q: (small laugh)
D: Well, I’m glad it’s your problem — not mine.
Q: Exactly. (“OOOOO”)
D: Okay, so we’ll just have them schedule it like a slightly longer appointment and then we’ll just take that out. It’ll be pretty simple. All we’ll need to do is numb it up. We’ll make a small incision —
D: — cut it out and put in a few stitches. The stitches stay in a week.
Q: Hopefully, by cutting it out — (“WE CAN JUST”) I mean as little a cut as possible — like maybe even using only a —
D: I’ll always —
Q: — a needle. (“OOOH”)
D: — as small as possible.
Q: Oh God, cutting — ohhh.
D: Well, it heals it.
Q: I’ve never had any kind of surgery other than having one infected cyst lanced that was right here. It’s the only thing I’ve ever had wrong with me. So I’m very paranoid about cutting.
D: Oh, well, don’t be.
Q: Okay. (small laugh) That’s easy for you to say. No, I know. I’m just being honest.
D: Did your brother tell you about his scalp?
D: And how’d that turn out?
Q: Well, he said it wasn’t very fun at the time. But it turned out fine.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THERE WAS A COMPLICATION IN STOPPING THE BLEEDING.)
D: Right. Oh, well, that too was a little more complicated than this one will be.
Q: Yeah. Oh, I’m sure. (“YEAH”)
D: This will be a lot more straightforward. I promise.
Q: From your lips to God’s ear. (“OKAY”)
Q: Okay, thank you. Nice meeting you.
D: I think it’s important for you to keep your skin well lubricated. (“WELL HOW”)
Q: What do you mean by that? Like with aloe vera or —
D: Well, that stuff I gave you will be good and when you take a shower keep it under five minutes.
Q: Oh really?
D: Um-huh. And use lukewarm water.
Q: Because my dad said to take long showers.
D: Try short showers. Long showers tend to be drying. (“AND UM”)
Q: How long do I use this Diprolene?
D: Just until the red spots go away.
Q: Will that make the red spots go away?
Q: So (“THE”) what does this do? Like prevent infection or — I was reading the back of it. (“I JUST”)
D: Consider it inflammation.
Q: Okay. Well, thank you.
D: Oh, you’re welcome.
Q: But there’s no long-term danger if you use this like for two weeks or something?
D: No, because just use the samples I gave you. You’ll be fine.
Q: Okay, thank you. Uh, so I’ll make an appointment. And you said to leave a lot of time so how long of appointment should I make?
D: I wrote it down.
Q: Oh, you did? Oh, thank you so much. Okay.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: DURING THIS INTERVIEW MY SUBJECT IS WORKING AND PERIODICALLY SPEAKS TO SOMEONE OVER THE PHONE.)
Q: What’s your name?
S: Shanta McDavis.
Q: I see you have a bell hanging from your closet.
Q: What is the story of the bell?
S: It was for Christmas time and it was filled with See’s candy. And it was delivered to someone else and I thought it was kind of cute. And I didn’t want the candy. I just wanted the bell. (“I LIKED IT”)
S: So this — (“THE CARD”) (into phone) Johnson — I just wanted the bell so I dumped the candy and kept the bell. So everybody comes along and they ring it and they shake it. They say, “But it doesn’t make any sound. It doesn’t make any noise.” (“OKAY”) But the actual — (“NO”) (rings another bell) (“UMMMM”) is here.
Q: Wow. (“NO” “SO” “AND THE”) You have two bells.
S: Yeah. And (“THAT WE”) this — (“THERE IS A”) it’s weird. (“YEAH”) I don’t know. (“YOU’RE GREAT”)
Q: And those earrings? What are those earrings?
S: I don’t know. These were a Christmas present. I guess they’re knots. They’re twisted knots.
Q: Oh, okay. Yeah, they’re definitely knots. Like rope knots.
Q: What else was I going to ask you? (“UM”) Now what’s the problem you’re having now with this patient? (“YOU CAN’T”) They can’t find something? (“SO THEN”)
S: He just gave us the Medi-Cal today. (“PUPPET CHAIN”) When I ran his share cost — (“UM” “I” “I[T]” “UH-HUH” “SICK”) Yeah, but it doesn’t show anything about him having Medicare. What’ll I do? It says “Johnson. Medi-Cal has share cost” and what the share cost is. And that’s it. It doesn’t say he has Medicare at all. Okay. Uh-huh. Cool. Thanks. Bye.
Q: And you also have stars above your bulletin board.
S: Oh, that was here before I came here. I just never took them down.
Q: And you have a troll. And you have — see, my book is about symbols.
S: Oh, okay. They’re just things that people give to me and they have a lot of sentimental attachment.
Q: Right. (“UH-HUH”)
S: So I keep them. Oh, you should have been here before when I had my postcards up — when people (“SSS”) go on vacation. (“HELL”)
Q: And what do you think you’re the symbol of? (“AA” “BUT”)
S: I don’t know.
Q: Of this medical group? What are you the symbol of?
S: I don’t know. I honestly don’t.
Q: Okay, and now this last problem you had — somebody couldn’t find any proof of Medi-Cal? (“W”)
S: No, we didn’t have any notes of it. (“THERE”) So we had to call to have it verified (“MA”) because sometimes our verification’s wrong.
Q: Did they verify it?
S: No. I have to talk to the patient now to ask him.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: HER TELEPHONE BEGINS TO RING ON TAPE HERE.)
Q: Oh my goodness. So nothing’s easy for you? In life? Generally.
S: No, this is not easy. I mean it’s not a problem. It’s not hard either, though. Hold on one second. Maybe this is her calling me back.
S: Hello? Yo. Michael? Oh, hi —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: TAPE #43, SIDE #2 ENDS HERE.)