"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fat Angel

I’m getting fatter, Lola chided herself, as her busy, chattering, mind skittered from her diatribe against Jackie, to an inner self-accusatory monologue about her own physical appearance.  No…no, I AM fat. (Lola despised the word “Fat” because it sounded like, and reminded her of “Rat.”)  Then, as if a soundtrack were rising to support her free-associations, Lola heard the words of a distant rock n' roll song: “Well, you’re built like a car, You got a hub-cap, diamond star halo.”  Even the music confirmed Lola’s self-impression.  I AM built like a car, Lola cringed, as she lamented her self-perceived physical liabilities. But at least I have a halo.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Décor Isn’t Working

As Lola continued her accusatory diatribe—a colorful torrent of  incrimination and condemnation—Jackie’s eyes, which had remained artificially soft and attentive despite the barbs of  Lola’s initial verbal onslaught,  momentarily drifted  from Lola’s face, to glance around her office. 

Jackie became aware, as if seeing these objects for the first time, of the warm decorative touches she’d made to the room so that her clients might feel comfortable enough to enter that calm confessional state that was thought to be prerequisite to delving into their inner psyches; a state which made accessible to “talk therapy” the various psychological wounds that had caused her clients to place themselves in Jackie’s highly regarded care, in the first place: Warm wood paneling; a tasteful and not inexpensive reproduction of a Willem de Kooning painting; a New Yorker cover depicting a Cape Cod summer scene; a vase of freshly cut flowers—which gave the room a comfortable, non-human living presence;  and some small statuary, including a piece that looked like an earthen colored Mesoamerican fertility god and a smooth flowing Henry Moore-like thing.

Lola must have detected Jackie’s flight of inattention, because the minute Jackie’s eyes returned to Lola’s anger-contorted face, Jackie heard Lola say. “Are you even fucking listening to me?”

As Jackie heard herself calmly respond “Lola, I’ve heard every word you’ve said. You think I’m sleeping with Richard.” she simultaneously thought to herself, Hmmmmm….This décor doesn’t seem to be working.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lola Knows

“You and that fucking Richard are sneaking behind my back.  You’re sleeping with Richard and pretending to be my ‘therapist,’ my ‘friend’.  Some ‘therapist,’ you are,” Lola contemptuously sneered, her lips curling like a rabid coyote. “And you think you’re SO smart. You think I don’t know anything, that I’m just some little blond bimbo.  Well, I DO know, I know EVERYTHING! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Therapeutic Calm

Lola had hardly sat down before she shrieked, “I didn’t come here to talk about me.  I came here because you are screwing my boyfriend.  The only reason I started therapy with you is because you're sleeping with Richard, and I wanted to see for myself what kind of two-timing bitch you are.”

Jackie immediately suppressed her feeling of shock and incomprehension.  She struggled to suppress her immediate reflex to say, “What the fuck are you talking about?”  Instead, Jackie exuded a well-practiced professional calm, turned to her fuming client, and said, “You seem angry Lola. Please tell me more about what you’re feeling.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

An Injury to One is an Injury to All?

Jackie dare not reveal to her client that she’d seen the bizarre scene that had unfolded in her front yard: a client beating up a therapist’s boyfriend. Tempted as she was, Jackie knew she couldn’t directly ask Lola why she had assaulted Buck on her front lawn. She couldn’t even ask Lola how she knew Buck. Jackie was bound by a professional oath of confidentiality, an oath that imposed a kind of “straightjacket” on Jackie’s curiosity.   

As Lola entered Jackie’s office and assumed her customary spot in the analysand’s chair, all Jackie knew she could say to her bellicose client was, “So, tell me a bit about how you’ve been feeling, since the last time we met.”

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Lot On Her Mind

Richard drove Lola home in silence.  He knew something was wrong.  She sat in the back seat of his limousine, fondling her purse like it was a rosary.  As she distractedly looked out the limo’s window, her delicate fingers worried her handbag’s little leather straps into a knot.  Richard thought it best that he not ask her any more questions.

As he pulled the lumbering black car up to the front of Lola’s apartment building,  Richard  silently wondered about why Lola hadn’t renewed her gun permit?  Maybe she just forgot that she owned a gun?   Lola seemed to have an awful lot on her mind, these days.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Whole Truth

As Richard pulled his limo up to the front of the Santa Monica police station, Lola pantomimed a tiny wave, as she seemed simultaneously to float and to trudge down the station’s white steps. Opening the back passenger door, she slipped across the broad back seat, directly behind her chauffeur boyfriend and steeled herself for Richard’s unavoidable questions.

Richard turned down “The Killers,” whose noisy angst blared from the car’s radio, and asked “What are you doing here? Were you arrested, or something?”

Lola replied through the limousine’s half-lowered dividing glass, “They discovered that the permit to my handgun expired, and picked me up to ask a few silly questions.”

To avoid Richards puzzled gaze, Lola immediately turned her head to look down Olympic. It wasn’t a lie exactly, it just wasn’t as a court would say “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”