Thursday’s prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie
The Doctor is In
A usual session. Therapist using Doctor’s office. Desk clear except for a stack of files (mine was on the top, no doubt) and the remainst of her lunch. Extra hard back chairs linked the wall, filled with the deteruis we brought along. Since it was a shrink’s office, maybe an analysis of what we carried to an appointment would reveal hidden secrets.
Sitting opposite each other in “visitors’ chairs”, I waited for the inevitable questions and observations. An unused kleenex box sat on the desk between us; she was always disappointed in the dispassionate, unconnected way I related incidents from my life.
Each session, I did manage to make her laugh, and to shock or surprise her. These pronouncements were true. Okay, so perhaps embellished over time or previously locked away in the dark recesses, so unsure of what to do in the freedom of daylight. Not made up like the sins a friend and her sister created, so they would have something to confess.
Usually I bamble through the session, avoiding answering the painful or questions that felt too inquisitive, went too deep into my psyche. My calm, unemotional response; proud that I could continue not to cry in public. My tears were a very private act.
As she asked me to relate a story that dealt with the original of a particular feeling, I noticed movement from the periphery. A child, maybe 10 years old (I was never good at ages) was sitting in the doctor’s chair, dwarfed by it’s size. I hadn’t noticed her when I came in; she must have been playing under the desk.
She had short ordinary brown hair, a round face and old-fashioned looking glasses perched on the end of her nose with a smattering of freckles across her cheeks. Her clothes had that home-made look: a dress with pink flowers and green vines. The way she shifted in the chair made me think she felt uncomfortable wearing it. Was the dress too tight for her chunky figure; too girly for a kid who usually wore tops and pants?
She was absorbed in a book: one of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries. Not something most 10 year olds would read. She seemed completely unaware of our presence. That is until she peeked over the top of the book, and a small possibility of a smile crossed her face, then she shyly ducked back behind the book as if she wished she had remained invisible, hidden by Rex Stout’s words.
Watching her had distracted me from the convoluted tale I would normally spin. My puzzled look seem to worry her. “If it’s difficult for you to talk about, I understand,” she said. “Your looking away at the desk, suggests that you’re not comfortable with bringing those events to the surface.”
Dare I ask what events? Where had she been going before the little girl with the freckles, the glasses and the book had distracted me. It was about my reaction to things in the present shaped by events in the past. She asked me if . . .
I glanced over at the child. She lay the book, face down on the desk. I could hear my mother’s voice “you’ll break the spine.”
She pushed the glasses up the bridge of her nose, looking at me with serious, sad eyes, “Do you want me to answer the question?”
@ phylor 2014