Sessions With Her 1-6
Session No.1:- Being Me.
“You channel other people’s pain –“
“It’s a gift and a curse,” I said exhaling a cloud of smoke that quickly floated upwards blending unwillingly with the whiteness of the ceiling. That morning (and mornings for me usually began at seven with the lingering taste of last night’s alcohol and a feeling of gloom) I had spent a significant stretch of time staring outside the toilet window, with the toothbrush jailed firmly in my mouth, at the adjacent unoccupied hotel room window with the uneasy hope of finding somebody there looking back at me. And although, absolutely nothing that happened following the aforementioned stare had anything to do with the current scheme of things, I couldn’t stop wanting to fit it into our conversation at the moment.
“Nobody’s staying next door,” I whispered with triumph, inhaling tobacco-laced air in gulps that might’ve been mistaken for yawns.
She wore the faintly curious yet faintly ignorant look of a rebellious teenager at the onset of personal victory. “Even if someone was staying next door, that someone would tell you that it’s a gift – what you have.”
“I don’t know,” I retaliated, giving away to recline. There is a peculiarity to silence that makes everything else in the background seem more important, the ticking of the clock, window panes shifting less than a centimetre in the wind, birds and breath.
“In any case I think you should start doing things differently from now on, like you planned to. God knows how many times you’ve ranted about it. The time has come to act, darling.” She paused. “You hear that? That is thunder and you’re getting to hear the overlords perform in concert just to mark the opening scene. Fucking-awesome.”
I nodded, absent, glazed eyes creating the impression that I was staring over her shoulder, and began patiently, as though teaching a two year old to count, “one, two, three, four…”
“I get it,” she said, leaning forward so our foreheads touched, so I had no choice but to lock eyes with her. “Flinch,” she started, and, sensing a challenge, I held my gaze, unblinking. “Drunk.”
I gave an intoxicated and somewhat amused smile making sure it offended her confidence murmuring, “You wish.”
She leaned to the side spontaneously shifting her lips jointly leftwards from her nose, “Fine, be that way! See if I care.”
“You would, I know that much.” I retorted undeterred by the threat.
“Would it change?” I asked moments later, an eternity later for Rahul Raman, who’d in that time given up smoking, liquor, sex and sarcasm—each for the span of two seconds, at least. “Caring for me, If I slept with someone else, for instance.”
“If you cheated on me,” she said levelly, “the only pain you’d be channelling, is your own.”
“Good point,” I murmured into her hair.
Session No.2:- Rain
“Notice how everything around us is so still.”
“And what if it is,” I retaliated almost threatened by the prospect of being attacked by somebody lurking in the background waiting to take me by surprise. “I understand this was supposed to be about solving my problems, not that I’m thrilled about any of it but I suppose it’s necessary.”
“Would you like them to be solved?”
“No, I don’t know; I guess if you can -” The idea of being in therapy was in itself something I was having trouble dealing with and now that somebody was looking at me with the satisfaction of being certified as a keeper of my innermost thoughts made me even more uncomfortable.
“Alright, how about you tell me about your relationship with your parents – let’s start there.”
I wondered if there is a manual that guides them through a step by step method on how to proceed unravelling the human mind. I wondered about the name of the manual, if it did exist and about the name of the author. “Can we start somewhere else? I want to leave my parents out of this.” I found my hand scratching my cheeks producing a sound familiar to those who forget to shave to work on a meeting day.
“The reason you’re here is so that you can talk about the things that you normally leave out.”
“Maybe I’ll tell you about how someone I know referred to a place as being infested with Muslims.”
“I am sorry?”
“It’s true; you’d be amazed how unbelievably ignorant some people can be. It makes you wish you had never met them at all or alternatively they were run over by a heavy auto-mobile ” I forced a smile as a courtesy to the sarcasm. “Also” – I continued, “It’s funny how people drag animal body parts into the English language like Bull’s eye or Bull shit or the bull by its horn. Right! I mean” –
“You’re not taking this seriously at all.”
“No, I am, really. It’s just I don’t know if I’ll ever be all right If things will ever be like I want them to be or if one day I’ll just get up and be alive. The best part of my day is undoubtedly the auto ride from park circus to Tagore Park; truly, it’s amazing how I just watch life being life and everybody doing what they inevitably should be doing. And yesterday it rained which was fantastic because normally this place this boiling hot and there is nothing more refreshing than rain. So, with all due respect and I mean this sincerely, I don’t think you can ever solve anything like the rain can.”
There was a silence that followed which gave me the impression that I had gone entirely misunderstood. I let it trail until at least one of us felt irritated by it.
“Well, I am going to ask to you to come again next week, we’ll see if you’re feeling like sharing then because it’s important that you share. Okay?”
There are only about a handful of really good reasons for having a therapist in your mind. It’s the bad ones I’m worried about.
Session No.3:- Sex Lies and Videotape
“You don’t even know who I am. You don’t have the slightest idea who I am.”
The cushion created a rustle as I shifted less than a few inches. “Am I supposed to recount all the points in my life leading up to this moment and just hope that it’s coherent, that it makes some sort of sense to you?”
“It doesn’t make any sense to me.” The face went blank as though making an attempt to describe the statement, then it came alive again with expectations of a satisfactory response.
“I don’t have the slightest idea who I am and I’m supposed to explain it to you? And why, you tell me why. Why do I have to explain myself to you?” The discomfort in my voice was now creating disturbances in the air, I felt it, I know she did too – the air around us certainly felt it. There began a phenomena as if the lights in the room played tricks with the rays of sunlight seeping through the curtains making everything a performance.
“Because, maybe I can help you” – This was a plea.
“Help me with what?” – This was a rejection.
The following happened very quickly before either of us had any time to generate appropriate expressions.
“My problem, Do I have a problem? I look around me in this town and I see … I feel comparatively healthy.”
“ You’ve got a problem.”
“You’re right,”- The resurgence of facial disposition aided dialogue delivery, “ I’ve got a lot of problems, but they belong to me.”
“You think they’re yours but they’re not, everybody that walks through that door becomes a part of your problem. Anybody that comes in contact with you -”
The abrupt discontinuation was deliberate; the messenger is immune to every retaliatory round of gunfire and therefore automatically pardoned for transporting the message. The message, however vicious must go through the entire process of changing hands gaining new ownership, giving away to evolution. I got up and walked rhythmically to the window and gently began drawing the curtains in the opposite direction, putting an end to the performance.
Session No.4:- Falling Out Boy
Prolonged sitting can sometimes invoke a song on the inside of your head, in my case it is always either Starlight by Muse or Sugar we’re going down by Fall Out Boy. On this particular Tuesday, the cushion seemed utterly inadequate making me feel like revealing much less than usual.
She could tell, like she could tell everything and I could tell that she could tell.
“So, how’s work? “
Amused by that response, she felt a compelling need to probe. ” Okay? Good-bad-don’t care? All of the three? “
“Okay as in,” I liberated a sigh from within, ” so my superiors have a habit of setting ungettable targets and well, we’re more of in the habit of being content with far less. “
“Really? So you’re not meeting your targets.”
“No, its not that! ………. It’s not about targets or ….. It’s about being, let’s say rational. About understanding the situation or research. “
She kept silent, I think because she figured I had more to add, which I did but the damn cushions kept screwing with the scene. What I really wanted to say was can you get a new couch?
“My colleagues think I should be made CEO.” I forced a smile but it sorta metamorphosed into a giggle. Odd.
“They think what?” She seemed to have missed the last part of what I had said unless of course this was deliberate.
“Nothing, just…. since I have so many opinions about so many things, they feel I’d serve better as the CEO. It’s a joke, of which i’m the butt of. “
” What do you think of the idea? “
So, was she making fun of me too? I had to wonder, True – I do tend to say a lot sometimes and I do know how it can be a problem. I decided to drop the thought and think about next week instead.
“I think that, I think I have a lot to learn. I am not even sure if I’d ever really become a CEO, at least not as long as I still have Animal Planet in my reach, know what I mean? ” I gift wrapped it with a chuckle succeeded by a look at the ceiling.
I have to admit, somewhere along the road I must’ve lost something very important to have ultimately become this way. As vague as that was, it’s still true, still painful, still present. The Art of Choosing – my latest procurement, a book by Sheena Iyengar waiting to be read, still oblivious to its fate of being declared either unworthy or succinct, whichever. I liberated a second sigh on that thought.
” So, you’re leaving for Kalimpong again, tomorrow? ” she said, after waiting for my head to return to position.
“Yes, ” I replied, looking sideways now – at the wall, thinking, whether I should come back next week or give up treatment. Either way, I thought, it was not like I was going to get anything back.
Session No.5:- Trouble
” What happened? It’s been weeks since I last saw you “
She appeared annoyed. Holding a quickly disappearing cigarette, I realized that I desperately needed an astray for my room.
” I’ve, I’ve changed. I think I have an alter ego. ” I stammered.
For those of you who know me from as long ago as Himalayan Academy, everyday on my way to and from school building, when on my own, I spoke to myself at length about who I was and what I wanted to be. I spent hours with myself trying to understand people and the things they did. I suppose you don’t understand, which I understand, is your problem.
” You have a what? “
” Nothing, forget about it!”
For a fact, I knew she didn’t forget about it. Alex Turner is wise. I suppose this is irrelevant.
” My friend looks good in pink hair. “
She seemed uninterested; I suppose this had something to do with me not telling her what she wanted to know.
” Which friend?” She started.
” I don’t mean her whole hair is pink, just a shade of. “
There I was wondering if this was real and if it was then I must surely be in some kind of trouble. I was.
Session No.6:- The Room
“Nice to see you back again, I missed my most dysfunctional client,” she said with a face that really wanted to say I told you so.
“Oh, I’m not back!” I exclaimed adjusting myself on the new and far less irritating couch,”just passing through.”
“Good for you, how have you been?” She uttered this plainly, as if it were a formality. I made sure my response was just as perfunctory as her question, “Good.”
I must admit, I missed seeing her. The room which once was a shelter to my rogue brain was now looking more and more broken. We had a pact, it said; you were to spend your life with me. Insane forever, remember. What happened? Little did everyone know that it wasn’t the room I signed up for, it was her.
“You’ll be alright,” she said, putting her diary and pen away on the side table, “You’ll be perfectly fine, I don’t think there was anything ever wrong with you in the first place, but it was fun. Making it look like you were a what-dya-call-it- a gone case?”
Smile forced its way out of me, “You bitch!”
Smile forced its way out of her, “You said it!”
“I will still come see you, you know – this isn’t goodbye. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a goodbye between us.” There’s this feeling, when you’re not really crying, but there’s water that is slowly flooding your eyeballs and you force it to stay there, so as to avoid any trickling incident, It was happening to me now.
“I know,” She ended.
I got up and walked towards that same window through which sunlight often practised art on the floor and looking outside at the empty street, woke up.