Ten Milligram Pills, Five Finger Discount


bella_icon.gif lola_icon.gif

Scene Title Ten Milligram Pills, Five Finger Discount
Synopsis Lola catches Bella in her office just as the shrink is moving out, and manages to get a session, a diagnosis, and a prescription for pills.
Date May 27, 2010

Bella's Studio Apartment Office

It has been a long, long time, it seems, since Bella was last in her studio apartment. Her period of practice here was not long, but it was eventful to say the least. Some events she would rather forget. The kind that have made her decide to leave this place and not look back.

It's still very cold, and the psychiatrist is bundled up in a winter coat with a faux-fur collar. Her red hair rests down around her head, and her ears are clasped by a pair of green ear warmers. She puffs white clouds as she gathers her possessions, mostly cooking supplies and some books she keeps here, as well as her trusty radio. There's no power in the building, not reliably at least, so she can't listen to NPR - the batteries are dead. Her motions are hurried, and she's has a pair of sunglasses tucked into one pocket, to fight the glare of the snow and to avoid being recognized.

Too late. But then agian, it's not hard to recognize a redhead in her own apartment.

The door opens and slams, but that sound may only have time to stop Bella's heart for a beat before there's a voice. "Ah hate this ass-backwards Yankee place. Who'd ever live in a place that ain' but buried in snow? No wonder the buildin's are so tall!" The prodigal Cajun revealed. "Gimme a Katrina any day." Lola mutters, tossing herself down in a nearby seat as though it were nothing.

That's actually /Bella's/ usual seat that Lola is sitting in. The one she occupies so that clients must pick either the couch or the other seat. This isn't a session - it's an intrusion. But this little detail is actually what strikes Bella most. She just stares for a long moment, peering through the dimness that the sunlight at the windows can't quite dispel.

"Ms. … Winston, isn't it?" Bella says, the memory rising up in her mind slowly but surely, "You… you came here before," she manages a smile - she's a little scared, but she'll try not to show it, "Similarly unannounced. But with a certain charm, which I see you haven't lost."

"Charm, that's me," Lola says with a smirk, hanging one leg over the arm of the chair. "Fellah even goes 'roudn callin' me 'Southern Belle'. 'Cept he's all sexual about it," Lola shakes her head, removing a cigarette and a lighter, doing what one would expect would be done with those tools. "Mary-Lou Winston, that's me," Lola says with a nod as she tucks her lighter away in her ass pocket. "Though apparently Ah ain' that hard ta forget. Which is good, seein' as ya likely don' got no files on me. Think we had a nice lil talk 'bout that. Anyway," she takes another long drag, exhaling upward toward the ceiling.

"I'm damn near feelin' crazy, been underground upwards a month. So that's why Ah'm here. Make me not feelin' so crazy."

"Well, you know how boys are…" Bella replies, conversationally. She continues to fit books into boxes. The good thing about the cold is that it's that much harder for them to see you sweat. She won't complain about the smoking. This isn't her office anymore. "I'm not sure I remember what you're talking about though, about files? I seem to remember your having a drub problem, though. Heroin? Judging by how well you look, Mary-Lou, I'm guessing you kicked the habit?"

Bella's head rises from her work, her gaze settling on the relaxed pose of Lola, "Handling crazy is my job. But I hope you realize I'm not on the clock. So this is not an official session between therapist and client."

"So that means that, say, oh Ah dunno. If Ah should admit ta poppin' a fellah in the skull, ya might 'ave ta tell the cops?" They went through this last time. "Hows about Ah pay ya, that make it official-ly like?" Lola lifts her pelvis off the chair to reach her back pocket and pull out a waller. Bills. Bills and bills and bills in that wallet. "Cause Ah kin do that."

Bella frowns, looking up at the proffered cash. She shakes her head, "I'm not on the clock," she repeats, "But you have my word that I won't repeat anything you tell me. I am, however, not acting as a therapist, but as a private individuals giving advice." An important distinction.

Lola sighs, tucking it back away. "Just…ah donno. Aincha my therapist? Just make me not wanna feel crazy. Gimme another one of them methadone prescriptions - that helped the last time when Ah was gettin' offa them drugs. Them…cocaine drugs. Or whatever it was." It was Refrain, of course, but Lola seems intent on lying about that still - not knowing that Bella already knows the trut.

Bella arches her brow, "I /was/ your therapist," she says, "And can still be if we want to resume the relationship. But for now, I'm not in a position to act professionally. But…" she leaves her box alone, standing up and walking over to the couch, taking a seat on it, as if she were the client and Lola the doctor, "I'd like to help. So, tell me, what's troubling you? You were trapped for some time - a lot of people were. How does that make you feel?"

"Bored as shit," Lola says in a matter-of-fact tone that boarders on rude. "Weren' a damn thing to do. Almost ran out of booze." Clearly she was better off than most. "An why aincha able ta be my therapsit now? Come ta think of it - where ya movin?"

"Because we're not in the appropriate setting, nor has the meeting been arranged appropriately," Bella says. She realizes how uptight, how technical this must sound, and so amends, "I have to cover my ass. Every doctor does. I'm not sure where I'm moving too, yet. People want to rebuild their buildings and clear out all the frozen corpses before they start letting places out again." Matter of fact, to match Lola's tone, "What did you do down there besides drink? What are you doing now that you're free?"

Lola shrug, puffing her cigarette again. "Je ne sais pas," she says, perhaps surprisingly. "That's French for Ah dunno. Kin also find out where the bathroom is, ask fer directions ta the bakery and tell ya ta tie yer shoes." So apparently she read something in French while she was down there. "Did some…well, we'll call it work, shall we? Drank mostly though, weren' damn much else ta do. Ain' done much since bein' up top, still can' get back ta my apartment, boss is prolly out a town…"

"Oui oui, mon cher. Je comprends pas." Bella says, her French accent rather Parisian, but not marked with any real fluency. She probably studied French in undergrad or high school. "I mostly know about enough to get really lost in the Champs Elysees." She smoothes her jacket out somewhat, a gesture of settling in, "How is it you feel crazy then? Just stir crazy? It seems like coming all the way here on the off chance of finding me is quite a length to go if you're just bored."

"Ya'd shit yerself if ya knew some a the dumb shit Ah done just cause Ah was bored, sugar," But that, thankfully, is not ellaborated upon. Instead, Lola takes another long drag, almost down to the filter. "But ya gave me them prescriptions last time, made me want the drugs less. All this damn snow's drivin' me mad, bein' undergroud's drivin' me mad, can't hardly walk or move anyplace." She grumbles and shifts a bit, flipping her hair out of her face. "Got a prescription fer that?"

"That depends," Bella says, "When you say 'driving you mad' what do you mean? You feel restless? Agitated? Prone to impulsive behavior? Do you feel sad, listless, unable to take joy in things that usually make you happy? Are you hearing or seeing anything unusual, that other people can't see or hear?"

"Ah ain' THAT crazy. Seen folks that were, but Ah ain' been that crazy since Ah got off the drugs," Lola says, flicking her cigarette into the garbage. Hopefully it won't start a fire! "Ah spoze restless 'bout covers it. Agitated - yeah, lot more'n usual." She scratches the tip of her nose, looking over at Bella suspiciously. "Why, ya know what's wrong with me?"

Bella takes a long inhale, "Maybe," she says, "My usual rate is eighty dollars an hour." Apparently this is about to get official.

Lola sets the money on the table nearby her. Enough for an hour. "So what's wrong with me then? Ya gonna write me one a them papers an get it all taken care of?" She asks, sitting up and setting her feet on the ground. "An ya know ya can' tell nobody 'bout it now ,seein' as Ah'm payin' ya an all. Just remindin' ya."

"Understood," Bella says, smiling but leaving the money on the table top for now. Not until the hour is over. "I need to you tell me how long you've found yourself exhibiting restless or impulsive behaviors. As a child, did you find it hard to wait your turn, to stay quiet or still in school? Did you often miss instructions on projects, skipping to the end? Did you argue with your teachers?"

"Didn' everybody?" Lola asks, shaking her head. "Look, sugar, Ah ain' askin' bout me bein' a kid. Ah'm just sayin, Ah wanna jump an scream every time Ah gotta spend hours climbin' over snow just ta get anyplace. Ya'll yanks must be damned crazy yerselves ta put up with it."

Bella dips her head, "I'm sorry that I have to ask these questions, but it's important for forming a diagnosis so I can legally prescribe you something that can help. So… how early in your life do you remember being bothered by restlessness? When do you first remember getting this 'jumping and screaming' feeling?"

"Well, the jumpin' an scremain' is new," Lola says, slowly, trying ot make sure that she's properly understood. "Cause a the snow. The rest a me bein' restless an all a that, Ah dunno. Just how Ah am. Ain' nothin' wrong with it." She shrugs again, pulling out another cigarette to light.

Bella notes what looks like evidence of chain smoking. This leads to a quick check being added to a mental list, "So as long as you can remember, you've had feelings of restlessness? Okay, do you find you often forget things? Lose your keys, miss appointments or important dates? Do you ever catch yourself daydreaming or miss out on important parts of a conversation because you were distracted?"

Lola shrugs noncommitally. "Sorry sugar, Ah dunno. Don' got a lot of appointments, tend ta make 'em when Ah got 'em. If Ah miss out on a conversation it's most like that Ah'm pickin' pockets an not much listenin'. Ah don' much care for what a lotta makrs got ta say, so long as they'r ehappy sayin' it."

Bella's lips quirk to one side, taking /this/ into account as well. "How often and under what circumstances do you engage in theft?" she asks, not sounding particularly judgmental or even very curious. It's strictly business. "Is it usually premeditated, or spur of the moment? What does it feel like to steal?"

Lola frowns. DAmmit! She didn't mean to let it slip that she was a thief, but there it was - it just came right out to this woman that she didn't even like, quite frankly. But it wasn't like there were other psychiatrists who wouldn't have her shot on sight raining from the sky, so. "'Member, sugar, Ah done paid ya, so this is all that confidential shit. Means that if ya let it slip ta anybody Ah kin have yer ass." That being said, Lola takes a puff from her second cigarette. "It's sorta a family tradition, ya know? Don' need ta do it fer money no more, not really." She's got other talents. "Do it when Ah feel like it. Somebody looks like they might have somethin' interestin'…."

Bella gives a mild laugh, "The only things confidentiality doesn't apply to are your revealing plans to harm either yourself or others," she says, "Theft, larceny, and all the more venial crimes are safely covered, so please, don't worry about it." It feels colder when she's not moving around, so Bella wraps her arms about herself. It's not her preferred pose when conversing with a client, but a sub-zero apartment with no power is not her preferred setting either, so she's not going to split hairs. "When you say it was a family tradition, does that mean you've been doing it since you were young? Did you feel the urge on your own, or was it all taught to you?"

"Naw, sugar, my daddy done gave it to me," Ah, a family of thieves. And people say that Americana is dead. Ha indeed! "Daddy gave me thievin, maman gave me Voudon." Another puff, another deep exhale. "Though Ah don' see what all this's gotta do with me bein' all restless in the snow and all."

It's a fair enough question. "I need to form a complete diagnosis in order to prescribe you anything," Bella explains, "So I'm seeing if you match the necessary criteria. It may sound unrelated, but if your restlessness isn't acute then I can better offer you the necessary medications. If it /is/ acute… I may not be able to legally give you drugs. And a childhood history is important, particularly in the diagnosis you seem to fit most closely."
fLola shakes her head, still a little confused. Finally seh gives up, shrugging. "Whatever. Maybe Ah'll just gotta wait fer this here snow ta melt, but Ah don' think this much snow's ever melted afore. We might be stuck like this." Oh, ignorant southerners. "Trapped. Ferever. 'll gotta walk back ta the sun."

Bella offers a slight shrug, "It seems to be getting warmer," she says, "And things will probably start getting better. But no, I imagine we haven't seen the last of the snow that's fallen for quite some time, unless we hit full on summer temperatures soon." She lifts her hands to her face and blows, warming her nose with her own breath, "I'd like to see if you qualify for an ADHD diagnosis, Mary-Lou. I could prescribe you a medication that would help you with your restlessness - if the diagnosis is accurate."

"Wassat?" Lola asks, raising her brows. "An waht exactly does a diagnosis consist of? Ah mean do Ah gotta take a test? Like in school?" Lola hasn't been to school in quite some time. Prison was close enough for her. "Or do ya just ask me super annoyin' questions?"

"Attention deficit hyperactive disorder," Bella says, unfolding the acronym, "A learning disorder with three axes: inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive. So far you seemed to score high on the last two axes, but without a childhood history, I can't make an diagnosis. Particularly not when you have a history of drug addiction. ADHD drugs are stimulants, a very different family than your drug of choice, but addictive behavior goes deeper than substance preference. So, yes, I do have to ask you annoying questions. But it's just the annoying questions that need asking. No test. Just a report on how early you showed signs of having ADHD."

Lola shrugs. "Ah don' got a clue, sugar. Ah don' evne know that Ah got that…thing yer goin' on about. Went ta school, waited tables, went ta…um…do some other things. Been pickin' pockets an prayin' my whole life - always been kinda obnoxious, got smacked upside the head fer it in more'n one bar but that's really bout it."

Bella doesn't say anything more for a fairly long pause. She's thinking, and visibly so. Finally, she gets to her feet. "You're lucky I'm liberal," she says, with a touch of humor. She moves over to a box, stooping down to lift her prescription pad from amidst the other times, rooting around and finding a pen shortly after. She begins writing, slashes out her signature, and then pulls the fresh script from its moorings. She walks over to Lola, and offers it up. "This is a one month prescription for adderall. It's an amphetamine, so don't fuck around with it. This will get you sixty short acting, ten milligram pills. Take a pill in the morning, with breakfast, and if it wears off and you feel restless again by early evening, take another. It'll suppress your appetite, so don't forget to eat. I'd get the generic brand, because it's much cheaper."

Lola takes the prescription, looking at it upside down, then right side up again. "Huh," she says thoughtfully, stuffing and wrinkling it into her back pocket. "sounds fair ta me, sugar." With that, she rises. "Hey, ya gonna leave yer new address someplace so Ah know where ta come an find ya fer next week?" Because it was a weekly arrangement, after all. Once upon a time.

"I'm afraid I don't have a new place yet," Bella admits, "But you have my cellphone number, so we can arrange a meeting in some other space. I /think/ phones are working. On and off." After pocketing the eighty dollars, she returns the pad and the pen to their box, and turn turns back to Lola, "I'd rather have prescribed you Vivance or Concerta, but there are no off brand versions of those drugs, and I don't recall your having insurance."

"Ah kin steal 'em." But Lola doesn't elaborate on that. Instead she stands, wrapping her coat tighter around herself and tossing out the second cigarette. "Alright then Doc, Ah'll give these a try. If they ain' workin, be sure you'll hear from me."

"If they do work," Bella says, "You should still let me know. I hope they help, Mary-Lou." Normally she might ask Lola for help with her things right now, but with the Cajun woman having openly admitted to having sticky fingers… Bella prefers to remain and safeguard her possessions.

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