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

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.

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