How I love the silence of the office when my patients are under and my fees are being paid. I wonder if for them it’s like the deep sleep I promise. For me it’s a nap on a beach. Two minutes ago they were shredding the air with their grievances and then—snap! I haven’t seen them this relaxed since, well, last week. The question is should I cure them. They don’t require a cure. Their problems are solved in advice columns every day. Mom, Dad, you’re sexually incompatible. That should have been clear when you were dating, but you thought the fact that she liked to give you something “for special occasions” was charming, instead of a warning. She’s unfulfilled, but not by you; to be fulfilled she’d need a goal, and for that she’d need an imagination and she has neither. From now on, no occasion will ever be special enough. Why can you not see this? The kids can see it. They “act out” because their personal family sitcom is all situation and no comedy, plus trouble means joining their friends in detention. It’s no wonder I prefer the whole lot of them hypnotized. They dress well. If they weren’t passed out on my furniture they could be posing for a catalogue. I wasn’t trained for this. I had a calling, I thought, and vision for darkness, dead aim for the heart of the matter, finesse enough to cast into the tempest and feel through the line when the hook first caught; instead I’m solving riddles of why girls eat, or why they don’t. Unless, unless that is the deepest plumbing of the heart, and my problems are just as obvious to them as theirs are to me, and I’m the one who’s being cheated here.

Copyright © January 1, 2007 David Hodges

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