*** This is pure fiction. A hypothetical couple's therapy session written nearly a decade ago to create a sense of closure where closure could not be found in any other way. ***
Couple's Therapy: too little, way too late:
It is nothing and everything that I have brought. Leaving, or being left, yet again, with the void.
She enters the small three-flat building having stopped twice at public restrooms at various fast food restaurants on the twenty-mile drive into the city. The drive in was a colossal movie like rendition of memories from their first encounter to the devastating ending. The childish laughs and the full blown adult fights, everything between now and then feels like something that didn’t happen, but rather was branded into her. It has always felt that way. Heavy or light, but nothing wasn’t committed to a long term memory store.
Her heavy steps down the small, musty hallway felt much like plank walk to a destined doom. She tried not to fidget. “Be open and calm” her voice whispered in her head. A green chair sat right outside the wooden and cracking door. She could here the muffle of a low moan voice behind it. It was non-distinguishable yet still completely frightening. She sat. The floor creaked as foot steps fell upon the wood floors, getting louder and more in synch with her heartbeat. She was unable to decipher the difference between them when the door opened.
She has always done things too quickly, made decisions feverishly. She moves at great speed. The grand and the minor. Her body shows the scars of the latter. In the space on her buttocks below her hip and above panty-line is a constant purple mound of dried blood cells, where her finger nails scraps the skin every time she rushes her pants off, even just to change. Her thumb-nails leave a mark of movements too quick to notice. This, like all her actions, is so fast the pain of their repercussions never quite hits soon enough.
Without saying a word, she made eye-contact first with Dr. Hank, a stout man, wearing glasses. Her first reaction was to hold her breathe, as historically, when coming across men that looked like east coast fisherman in corduroy elbow patched blazers. A man that looked like this, with a grey beard and shiny head, usually smelled like ketchup and faint fish-breath. They locked eyes, and he nodded her in. She obeyed.
The room was dark and the blinds were cracked. She could see the trees being swung around in the Chicago wind. They looked lifeless and at the mercy of the stifling cold of nature, not unlike her near future. Two chairs were set up in front of an old English maroon leather beaded chair. A small non-matching desk was pushed against the window with a non-specific stack of books on its left corner. The entire room smelled like books, cheap aftershave and onions.
This already appeared dismal. Until she saw him, sitting in the chair with his back to her. He stood up, gave her a silent but grateful look and put his hand out. This was new. She couldn’t remember the last time she shook his hand, even an awkward, obligatory closed hand hug would have sufficed, or at least felt appropriate. The entire entrance felt too clinical. Foreign. She sat.
Dr. Hank: So, Safina, tell me about you.
Safina: I’m not sure I understand what you are asking?
Dr. Hank: However you would like to understand it is fine. Just respond, however makes you comfortable.
Nick is sitting nervously with one leg bent, his foot resting on the knee of his right leg. His hand is up to his mouth, covering it, almost as if he is signaling her to both speak and say nothing at the say time.
Safina: Ahhh, see that is what I truly loathe about therapy, all the pre-meditated, cue-giving, all the open questions and answers. It’s like you are steering something, but without a wheel.
Dr. Hank makes a point not to nod, or make any kind of gesture. Just piercing and open eyes under his bushy grey, surprisingly frantic eyebrows.
Safina: Okay, the concise version in your speak. (She sits back in her chair uncrosses and re-crosses her legs, looking to Nick for some kind of supportive or curious encouragement. He is motionless aside from the quick bobbing of his foot.) I am a classic text book case of abandonment. My mother left me emotionally years before she did physically, and now, in her age and “wisdom” (Safina motions quotations with her hands) she is incessantly and quite self-servingly apologizing for her absence, and happy agreeing that she was an awful mother, only justifying all my hatred for her and even more my disgust in her boundless ability to be selfish.
That coupled with my father who was an incredible man, but due to his child trauma growing up used boundaries everywhere…I can count the times he hugged me in my life on one hand. His fear of crossing the line left him constantly standing behind one. I grew up with his over-criticisms which I took with great pride as a sign he cared about me.
Thus, I have been on a path seeking men just like him, looking for patriarchs. (Her eyes land on Nick so heavy he looks away, and then she aims them back at Dr. Hank without the slightest of movement of her actual head.) All that plus boarding school and freedom at 15 fantastically has brought me to the be the person I am now. Again, obvious, so forgive me if I am boring you with typical conclusions.
Dr Hank: Do you feel “typical”?
Safina: It’s settled then, I am A-typical.
...To be continued in "Part 2: Dialogue: I'd rather shatter than stand untruthful to my soul. I'd rather bleed to thrive than be stoic to survive."