I am writing to you for two reasons and two reasons only. One: an event has occurred in my life, just over an hour ago, and I know that you will end up being the first I personally tell whether in our appointment on Thursday or just out of pure fact that I remain hidden, mysterious, enclosed and ultimately safe (and desirable) from the rest of my immediate world.
As I write this even, I find you taking form in front of me and underneath my palm across this page. I see you because the importance of you being here in conversation with me is grave. It is necessary. It is my only hope for revealing my shadows, scars and bruises. It is my only hope for unavailing my delicacy…my vulnerability, really, but you and I both known that I love to keep things poetic, gentle and young. To be delicate is to be naïve, a virgin to the world of harm. To be vulnerable is to be perceptive of the truths, but choosing to be weak towards the actions that place one at a level of self-respect and stern regard.
You are lucky that Freud claimed, as a psychiatrist, you are a “safer” target. I have not cast bullets in your [bulls] eye, yet! But really, you are lucky. You get to feel the temperature of the water I am sinking in and without saying a word to me, you decide whether it is hot, cold, or lukewarm. You register this; write it down on your lined paper or record it in your mind and never demand me to get out of the bath because it is burning my flesh or freezing my skin. In fact, you never say a thing.
You are lucky that I see you as safe; that I see you at all. And I am lucky because I am like a pearl; hidden, mysterious and enclosed in an oyster of life’s opportunity—to quote Shakespeare himself, “You are in a position to take the opportunities that life has to offer.” He was a wise man; romantic in his sayings and brilliant with his gestures—the way he need not be in one’s immediate environment to propel thee to lust forward and beyond imaginable securities. I am a pearl enclosed in an oyster shell that exhibits my valuable prize of worthiness. Now who should be paying whom for our time together?
Hush! I am sure you are scribbling down notes ferociously over my character, motives, unconscious desires and wishes. You are no Freud, Ann. You are not even as good as Ingmar Bergman’s character Alma in Persona. Oh how she thought that she could just be a spectator dissecting her patient as she eroded in a chair.
You baffle me Ann! You cannot be a scientist and simultaneously a leisurely observer of a tennis match. That is not being discreet or professional! That is being desperate for knowledge of the other. You are probing but asking no questions—did any extraordinary scientist ever do such a thing and discover a difference? Ask me something! Say a word! I cannot uproot my deep-seated emotions in your office seat if you do not strike me across the face with truth. Hunt me down and shoot at me when I am not camouflaged and harming myself!
If you will not listen to your desperate patient, listen to a mentor. George Sheehan advised it himself, “The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body.” You saw me as I walked into your office the first time. You shook my hand and from that engagement I believed you felt the same as I; that our relationship was an honor. Why shake another if you do not anticipate the electricity of the shared grasp? Why commit yourself to the germs my hand is bathed in, if you are not willing to wash me of my disease and decay?
I know you. I watched you as you tried to penetrate my being like a rapist does to a pretty young girl. I watched you as you attempted to spike my drink like the bastard of a party. Oh Ann, you are so sly, are you? How you lend yourself to thinking your narrowing eyes, pencil skirts, leather briefcase and 250-dollar appointments were like narcotics dropped into my beverage that I would ingest and insensibly produce verbal diarrhea as a result of. Ann, I can swallow my tongue. I can catch your mechanisms and use them as my defense.
You should have helped me. I melted into your seat for so long and talked to my mouth became dry. And what did you do for me, but sit in stare. So before you analyze me, let me emphasize my own emotional progress and personality development. Let me help you, help me. Let me push the timer down, lock the door, cross my feet and say, “Your therapy begins now.”
My ribs are not what should be visible when wearing a plunging hemline; the vulnerability of my life should be what is exposed to the coherent mind. So Ann, do not tell me this battle is over food. Ask me when I am susceptible. Ask me to recall the time when my former lover dove beneath the covers and tangled his erotic fantasies in the disarray of my fleeing hair. Or the time we drank red wine from the bottle; him feeding me cheese and baguette like a romantic couple in a film noir. I left the restaurant full from the red of wine and love, just to have him pull my arm out the door and say, “Kate Moss would never let her man feed her cheese, no matter how hungry she was for pleasure.”
And you think I am starved from food! How about normalcy? How about I am human Ann. I have feelings. I share thoughts. Are these not blessings? Who has the certificate to say that feelings and thoughts equate problems?
You are lucky, Ann. Lucky that you are safe. Lucky that I am writing to you for two reasons. My grandmother died this morning at 7:07. I suffer not her loss, but the loss of never having known her. I find myself envious of those that knew her—her best friends, her diaries. They knew her. They knew her marrow, her make up, her blood. And thus, they must know me. They must know me and yet, I have paid them not a cent. All those diaries did was allow themselves to be revealed, naked, unclothed and spread wide to be bled upon with ink. Know me, Ann. Reveal yourself with me.
My grandmother died this morning at 7:07. Was she lucky in her own way, too?