I wrote it on the back of my hand

They encourage us to write. To our first loves, to our cats, to our mothers, to the ocean, to ourselves (if we feel really brave).
I choose my therapist.

My therapist has a beautiful engagement ring. She began today’s session by complimenting my knitted sweater. I told her that it’s my cloud sweater and that I like it a lot too. My therapist spent 10 weeks living in that city by the mountains when she was younger. So she gets it. She says she can call me if I don’t have the energy to come in to her office. She comes up with analogies of houses and rooms, filled with different relationships. She lets me talk about Leonard Cohen and ghosts and Frank O’Hara in the same breath. I talk forever and she never interrupts. She told me that she’s proud of me, made a new appointment next week.

Obviously, I will never ever let her know that she is my secret hero. That’s why it’s in third person.
Have you also felt a little brittle lately? Have you also written serenades on the back of your hand?

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The garden was coming in. I wanted to get a dog but I needed to know that I could keep the plants alive first.

I like her sweater, ‘the cloud sweater’ she called it. I loved it in fact.

The Jacob’s Coat looked like a good client to drop into the first hole. I filled it with fresh soil. It had begun to root through the tiny pot, trying to force its way out to ground itself.

I thought about Brad in moments when I thought about Nina. Nina singing to drumbeats that shovelled emotions until it made a huge pile. She dug graves.

‘Sinnerman, where you gonna run to’.

Why would I run to the rock? I preferred the weightlessness of salt water. Whether buoyant or drowning, dead or alive, the drifting was constant. I lived on a rock. That was weighty enough.

I had seen her looking at my hands. Her face dropped. I see everything.
She didn’t know.
Client-therapist rules. You don’t discuss private matters. She’s the one who’s supposed to do the talking. I listen.

All I hear are those crazed drums.

For this week’s appointment, I wear a dark corduroy jacket with tarnished bronze buttons. My father found it in a thrift store and mailed it to me in thin brown paper; there is a stain on its lapel where the wrapping had torn. I’ve not told her of my father, nor will I do so today. I will not mention this jacket’s path to me unless she mentions it first. I resisted the urge to wear my cloud sweater for though I yearn for her approval, I want to show her that I am varied. That I have the potential to change, though whether or not that change is for the better is up to her to decipher.

She does not mention my outfit. She starts the session by mentioning today’s sun that shines eagerly through the slowly growing storm clouds. Did I enjoy the warm, illuminating touch of its rays? Had I brought an umbrella, just in case? Yes, no, I do not mind getting caught in the rain. The water will sluice off my skin as though I were wallpapered in the same waxy film as tropical leaves. In fact, that world sluices off me, barely touching me, and I am adrift in this world. Only music rocks me back into the earth’s craddle. Only the beating of drums tethers my heartbeat to reality.

As habit, she twists her ring, rubs the bony points of her knuckles. I run my tongue over the ridges of my teeth.