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Feb 27 / Tiziana La Melia

Slip of the sock

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The counselor is a wall with a crack. She listens, but she doesn’t say much. There are small windows. The counselor doesn’t wear deodorant. Like the meaning she seeks, she produces no smell. The speaker sweats. Sweat under armpits, between legs, behind scalp, along ears.

The room resembles his outfit. Grey dress pants, striped shirt, probably a brown belt, leather shoes, and special socks. He is not offensive, but it’s not Deanna’s personal taste.  Deanna has been visiting a counselor herself for five years. In the room, they are both attentive to words and energy. Sitting. Talking. Still. He used to take notes. Not anymore. Deanna can’t see it happening. Transference? Like she said, “he is not my personal taste”. Thinking Mississauga. Beginning to see the objects in her house differently. Thinking about her childhood home. Living room is filled with glinting ceramic Greek pillars, silk lilies by the window, pulling up blinds, releasing velvet drape, vase of peacock tails, pink petrified lips of the giant conch pressing its memory up against her ear, teal carpeted toilet cover, staining white carpet, pouring powder over top of a mark. Remembering Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt. Temperature of a dream, impaling parents with lion paws. But transference? Sounds terrifying. She blocks it out, even if she should be able to answer her own hi how are you? Redirecting thoughts to a few precious moments lined up on a shelf. “This is terribly abstract”. “Don’t worry about it”. Nothing precious moments about it. The counselor seems to hear things but is very reserved and does not reveal a thing about herself, a true psychoanalyst.

This is based off a true story. Last week Deanna went to see her shrink who in all these years tells her nothing of him (she don’t know if he’s married, gay, straight, kids, mom, dad, sister).

He accidentally reveals that he had a sister who lived in New York. “I saw an opening here, you see.”

“Did you ever live in New York?”  She said.

He very slowly nodded and hesitantly said ‘Yes.’

I am shocked and feel very strong.

“How” she said, “long?”

Again hesitating. Eyes close. Out comes a sigh, “7 years . . . ”

“Manhattan?” She probes.

Walking out he holds the door to shut behind her and whispers, “Brooklyn.”

She leaves and thinks I think he made a real breakthrough in that session. I say strong in that it was a role reversal.

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