You stood me up. Or at least Freud would’ve said you stood me up.
Me, a former client forking over a check in the high triple digits every week hoping that I’d hear a different existential interpretation than my own, expecting that somehow your take on things would open my eyes to something new, like some kind of salubrious psilocybin trip.
I decided to terminate therapy because you disclosed something you perhaps shouldn’t have.
“I took ayahuasca in the Peruvian jungle, four years ago,” you confessed. “When I was under the mind-expanding influence of that shamanic substance, I had a vision.”
You slightly shifted the cross-legged position you were sitting in and ran a hand through your immaculately coiffed hair.
“First, money rules everything. In the absence of monetary transactions, anarchy reigns. Second, humanity has become a cancer on the Earth, and, lastly, teenagers are committing suicide at unprecedented rates because of global warming.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There might have been elements of truth to what you were saying. But that truth was only partial at best. How was this any different from my own fixation on black/white race relations and my monomaniacal belief that phallic obsession is the root of all evil?
However, I wasn’t about to argue with you. The vision you had was about as valid and equally crazy as my own. When I got home, I texted I no longer felt the need to be seen by you and recommended you never reveal what you told me about your ayahuasca trip to other clients.
Although I knew I would miss the friendship I felt toward you, there was no way I was going to allow my parents to keep paying more than I could make in a year working at World Market to someone who’s take on life was as delusional as mine.
I felt we were more like peers than we were therapist and client. And a peer doesn’t pay another peer for chit-chat and advice.
After I stopped being a client, I hoped you'd be able to keep making the payments on the new car you had bought with your ill-gotten gains but you probably had to take it back to the dealer to work out the terms of a shameful return.
Early this summer, I thought of texting you a message about an art show where I was going to exhibit a painting. Although you claimed I was stuck in a starving artist narrative that would hamper my ability to earn a living from my creative efforts, you also repeatedly requested that I give you one of my paintings. Free of cost. In appreciation of your invaluable wounded healer’s wisdom. I still haven’t sold a work, but I also don’t regret not having gifted you one.
Despite all the evidence stacked against the advantages of continuing to have any sort of dealings with you, I was pleasantly surprised when I received a text from you about a year after we had last seen each other. In the text, you invited me to celebrate my fifty-fourth rotation around the sun with a breakfast or a lunch.
I suggested going Dutch, but you insisted on paying for a meal at the restaurant of my choice. I opted for a morning meal at an upscale café not a block from the location where I was arrested for breaking and entering and assault on a peace officer.
Although it wasn’t considered for purposes of my release, you gave a convincing testimony on my behalf in court. I ended up getting a mental health diversion after waiting two years in the county jail where you came to see me twice, charging my parents seven-hundred dollars above the hundred and fifty the county paid you on each occasion.
You told my mother that if for whatever reason I wasn’t able to see you during these visits, you would charge her the full amount anyway. The world is ruled by money indeed. Or is it more like your world is, Mr. Ayahuasca?
But it seemed that you were willing to atone for your shortcomings by taking me out for my birthday. Perhaps we could put the past behind us.
On the agreed upon day, I waited at the restaurant, and when you hadn’t arrived at ten past nine, I asked to be seated. At twenty past nine I texted I’d be ordering without you. When I moved from table to bar counter, I noticed a pretty blonde, blue-eyed woman who also seemed to be waiting for someone.
She sat four stools down from me and I contemplated planting myself next to her and starting some conversation. Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we’d hit it off and she’d be the one to bring an end to my many little miseries. Maybe she’d be the one to satisfy my need for a woman who is an embodiment of both Mother Mary and Mary Magdalen, a woman who could devote herself to me like I did to her, and fuck me similarly. Clearly, you would’ve called me out on the savior complex this desire of mine makes manifest.
I wanted to take the chance with this woman and see where fate would take me, but fucked me didn’t make the Mojo move.
As my mind aborted this course of action, my phone rang. It was you on caller ID. I surmised you were calling to apologize, and that was exactly the case. Your excuse was you had been suffering from insomnia and had slept through your alarm. But what would a cynical psychoanalyst say?
Whatever they would’ve said is what my mind told me. I could hear Sigi’s Austrian- accented English echo in my mind's ear, “Your former doctor’s carelessness is an expression of sublimated hostility or passive aggression, at the very least.”
The person I assumed was the date the woman at the counter had been expecting arrived and I was tempted to tell him, “Never keep a lady waiting.” But I didn’t want to be a schmuck to a schmuck, so I’ll be one to you, oh, wounded healer who is also an oblivious fool. Unless you do some soul-searching, I’m through with you for a second time and for good.
Although you texted me additional “sincere apologies,” you had ruined my day. All I did was reply with another text calling you “a wreck.” I also wished that you take care and farewell.
In my book, love is the heavy antidote to madness and to receive it you’ve got to be worth its weight. You are light as a feather and warped like a board. Goodbye and good riddance, indeed, Doctor D.