Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fill Up The Cup, Part 4

(This is it. The conclusion that all 13 of you readers have been waiting for. If you enjoyed the story you should buy the book. If you didn't enjoy the story you should write a crappy review on amazon. I will have fun taunting you and your poor taste in literature.)

The next day, Greenberg had some explaining to do at the fertility doctor’s office. But before she could start sassing him, he turned the tables on the doctor who majored, and minored, in labia.

“For eight months now I’ve been tugging at myself so we could fill up the turkey baster and for eight months we’ve come up with zilch. Why don’t you tell us what’s going on, Doc? Why are we still here? And why are there two of us when there should be three of us?”

Mrs. Greenberg was taken aback by his forcefulness. And not just a little bit turned on. The gynecologist was thunderstruck. Her tone was decidedly different.

“Well, the science of fertility has never been exact. And it never will be,” she said, adding “perhaps it’s time we take this to the next level.”

Greenberg had no idea what that meant but seemed encouraged that his little burst of anger had elicited a reaction. And some respect.

“Ok,” he said, “what’s the next level?”

“Hormone shots. By enhancing the estrogen levels there’s a good chance we can produce more eggs. And more eggs give us a greater probability of pregnancy. Perhaps even multiple pregnancy, like twins or triplets.”

Greenberg was elated, “Damn, why didn’t we do this before? We could get the whole family thing done in one fell swoop. A package deal, that’s what I’m talking about.”

“The shots are expensive,” said the doctor, “$1,000 each.”

Greenberg reeled at the price. And was even more deflated when he found out they were not reimbursed by his company’s medical insurance.

“But there is a Plan B.”

The doctor explained that while pharmaceutical companies in the US were charging exorbitant fees for the hormone shots, they were also available across the border. She told the Greenbergs that the same $1,000 shot sold at a pharmacy in Santa Monica was being sold in Tijuana for less than one-tenth the cost. They didn’t even need a prescription. They could simply walk into a pharmaceria, lay down a C-note and walk away with the exact same medicine that was under tight FDA restrictions.

“That’s great,” said Greenberg, “we go down to Mexico, get the stuff, bring it back here to your office, and you’ll inject my wife?”

“Uh, not quite.”

Greenberg was not putting one-plus-one together.

“You’re not allowed to bring this medicine back across the border. The injection will have to be administered while you are in Tijuana.”

Greenberg scratched his chin, “So you would come with us down to Mexico? How does that work?”

“Oh no, I’m not going to Tijuana. I once bought a serape down there, thing was infested was fleas. Took me two months of soaking in Calamine lotion to get over that, I don’t do Mexico.”

“Am I hearing this right? You want us to go to Mexico buy the $1,000 hormone for $100 and then you want me to inject my wife with the shot?” asked Greenberg.

“That’s the ticket.”

She could tell from his reaction that was not the ticket.

“I’m not good with needles at all. And needles, in Mexico? In Tijuana? That’s the trifecta of No, No and No.”

“I don’t know what else to tell you, Mr. Greenberg.”

“Well, I have no similar loss of words – Good bye.”

With that Larry Greenberg took hold of his wife’s hand and guided her out of the doctor’s office. As they rode down the elevator she noticed in him a fierce determination. It was as if he knew exactly what they were going to do. She had no idea. He was tight-lipped until they reached the car.

“Your days as a media sales rep are over.”

“I can’t quit my job, we need the money,” said Mrs. Greenberg.

“We can get by on my salary. We’ll tighten the belt, eat out less often and spend more time together at home. We don’t need more money. We need less stress.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’ve never been surer.”

“OK, I’ll give my two weeks notice tomorrow.”

“We’re not waiting until tomorrow. And we’re not waiting another two weeks. I want you to quit working so we can start living. As a family.”

He dropped her off at her office. Before he drove away, she grabbed him by the back of the head and kissed him like she hadn’t kissed him in years. If he wasn’t sure about this sudden surge of strong headedness, he was now.

As he got off the elevator at his office, Smithwick strolled up behind him and clutched him by the elbow.

“Where have you been?”

“Personal business.”

“Well, here’s some business you might want to take personally: Coughlin put the account up for review.”

“That bitch!”

For six months Greenberg crisscrossed the country, sat in focus groups, and listened to her dull stories about the new drainage system she was installing at her summer home. He smiled when he didn’t feel like smiling. He made small talk. And did his best to make her feel like there was nowhere else on Earth he’d rather be, when the complete opposite was true. He rewrote copy. He watered down ideas. He swallowed his pride until there was no pride left.

And he did all this while dry humping himself into little plastic cups with the hope of bringing a new Greenberg into this world to experience the same pleasure.

And this is how the world returns the favor?

“Jenkins wants to see you in his office.”

“Probably to talk about how we were going to defend the account. This should be great,” replied Greenberg.

Of course, that’s not what Jenkins had in mind.

Twenty minutes later, Greenberg walked out of his office with a three-week severance check in his back pocket and a sinkhole in his stomach large enough for a small mammal. As he walked to the mailroom to get some empty cardboard boxes, his cell phone rang.

“I did it, honey. I quit. No notice. No questions. No nothing. It was great.”

Greenberg bit his lip.

“I told you. Everything is going to work out,” he assured her.

They made love that night.

And they made a baby, the old fashioned way. The way only two clueless, unemployed people with no foreseeable income and no future in advertising can.

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