Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee
The psychiatrist was wearing two rings and a gold watch. One ring was set with a large, red stone. Not a ruby, it was more solid than that.
We sat in the brown office together. He had spreadsheets pulled up on his computer but I couldn’t tell if they had to do with me. I was occupied with two things, mostly – whether or not the heat in the office was making sweat visible as it was stringing down my armpits; and how not to get devoured by the big blue leather couch.
It was a breezy meeting. In at 4:15, out by 4:45. I liked that.
The only thing notable about the psychiatrist, aside from his jewelry, was the way he sat. He kept both legs planted on the ground. Pay attention to people resting and you’ll notice not many of them do that. It’s much more comfortable if your knees are crossing.
As I told him my life in bullet points, he’d lean forward or back with his elbows on his knees. He’d go close when he was asking questions and lean back for dramatic moments. He didn’t say much. He seemed more comfortable with the explaining – here’s where all the cords connect, and this is what we’ll do to cut them. He had the same joy listing side effects as your fattest uncle does cutting into thanksgiving pies.
Behind the computer, about two feet deeper on the desk, was a miniature bookshelf. They were big books, medical, and most were red. The way the sun was going through the office window, those reds looked much like a bed of old, withered flowers, or rusted tools, or the jewel on the psychiatrist’s ring. It made me think there must be a connection between that color and the man, that he was so confounded by it he had to surround himself. We’re drawn most deeply to things we can’t quite figure out. We want to be known by the shiny charms that are just a bit too expensive for us. Always stepping two feet further than the last man you saw walk the diving board, stiff as death and chest extended, close to slipping towards deep, blue water.
At the end of the visit, he prescribed me pills to treat a mild, chronic depression. He said they’d make things feel like something instead of nothing. I wanted to ask him what it ought to feel like to see red books cast in summer sunlight, but didn’t get the chance. After a month of taking the pills, at our next visit, maybe I’ll have my own answer.
Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller
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Long ago, to isolate themselves from a world of beasts, humans began building cities. But since beasts prowl within stone walls as well as outside them, this did not allay human fears. The truth is, walls guarantee no one’s safety. The place where you lock yourself in and lock all else out – that’s not your home. Your home is sometimes a place you travel long and far to find.Marcin Blacha, Head Writer for ‘The Witcher 3’, a videogame; quote given by character Geralt of Rivia