The Therapist

I am not always inspired. Every time my lungs inflate and then squeeeeeeeze the air out collapsing into prunes, it is not with a sigh of creativity. I do not always feel artistic in the afternoon. Or evening. Or in the morning, even after I’ve had coffee. Or in the night [early morning] when I wake up and need to piss. Normally, I do not feel particularly inspired until I take time to settle into a quiet space at the keyboard with a blank white page staring back at me. It might just be a normal day in this old-timey bungalow or out there on the other side of single-pane windows. Neighborhood dogs barking; a hummingbird’s chirp like an annoying beeper from 1993; sunlight casting shadows on a thick layer of cheap gloss that coats a wooden floor, one that is dustier than I thought when it wasn’t in direct sunlight. I become inspired when I sit down with a blank page in front of me. A mesmerizing, glowing, calming, safe, neat, uncluttered white page; the cursor ticking, blinking like a soothing metronome. I type a letter with my fingertip. It is my left index finger. There is a concave callous just beneath the nail from years of depressing steal and nylon guitar strings. The letter appears on the screen. It is the letter “W.” Capital “W.” So symmetrical. So angular. So clean. And yet, that letter has the ability to invoke anger. I let it out. A flurry of typing. I involve the manicured and pillow-soft fingers of my right hand. As I type, and my secondary response to something bigger known as anger takes over, the typing becomes louder, aggressive enough to punch through to the other side of this precise, level plastic designed in California and manufactured in China. Already, I feel better. I’m communicating. There are feelings in my gut that need to get out. And the thing about writing is: It is different, better, than a conversation. A conversation can be [is often] disrupted by the listener’s desire to speak. It fucks me up when my rant is interrupted. I have to reframe my relationship to the listener and start over with collaboration in mind. I have to shift my thinking from being vulnerable and focused on an outpour of emotion to being empathetic and capable of understanding, strong enough to keep my advice to myself. With writing, I can be as selfish as I want to be. The more selfish I am, the better the writing feels. I can smear this page with truths that race in my head at night pleading to be analyzed. When I write, it is only this blank space and me. Only I can fill it. When I write, I can be honest. I trust this page. I don’t have to hide anything from this page. This page never judges me, interrupts me or thinks differently of me. This page is my therapist and his rates are humane. When I bullshit him, he knows. He doesn’t say that he knows, but I’m aware that he knows. Sometimes I try to fool him though. He’s good about playing dumb so that I can feel like I’m making progress, that maybe I got him this time. As I corner myself into an elaborate lie and become exhausted from being in character, it comes as a relief when I can just breathe and admit that I am full of shit. It is always more fulfilling to acknowledge that on my own instead of my therapist calling me out and telling me that I am full of shit. When I can say that I am angry and full of shit and scared, I can just be those things instead of being macho and hiding my vulnerability behind a veil of masculinity. The blank page, my therapist, just sits here and listens. It is his job to listen. He takes his job very seriously. And it is my own fervent desire to speak, my need to avoid awkward silence that helps me experience these breakthroughs. And all I had to do was start typing. Just one letter. The letter “W.”

Listen to me rambling. Please, tell me something about you…

Photo Apr 17, 2 03 46 PM

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