Here we are, just you and me, blog drunks. Truly, though this same message is out there for anyone to read, it’s just the two of us at the space bar now, Joe. The lights are low. Pandora plays the old classics softly behind the screen. “Bartender, set up another post for me and my friend. Make mine a double.”
Why do you come back? I ask you, why? Surely there are better things to do with your time than hang out with an old rambling dude self-named for a Mexican lunch special. If I were you, I would not hang out with me. Can’t stay away, huh? Have you no self respect? The guy behind the cyber screen is troubled. Remember the Wizard of Oz? He was just a lost illusionist. He was the same guy in the carnival wagon in Kansas before the tornado hit. You knew that, right? A good man but a bad wizard. I’ll appropriate that description. I’m a bad, bad wizard, Joe.
If Harry Potter called me out to a wizard magic dust off, I’d lose. Snap! No question. But if that little jerk knows what’s good for him, he won’t or I’ll skewer him syllabically. Oh, but misery loves company, eh my drunken friend. What’s that? I’m miserable? No, I was sitting here with you, dude, nursing your pouty pout. You came to me. I did not come to you. Oh yeah. You logged in to my synapses not vice versa.
This muddling reminds me of a lady who came to see me because her coworkers told her I could help her. She had a short fuse; hated people; broke into panic without any warning; and was generally an endearing but totally frustrating smartass. From the first session she let me know that she did not like me and that I sucked.
“Is that all you can say, ‘How do you feel about that?’ C’mon. That’s pretty lame.”
“Yeah, so it seems. You are really angry.”
“Oh, ya think?!! Nice, blame me because you can. And I’m paying you for this. Thanks.”
“Wait a second. You called me, remember? I didn’t call you and plant issues in your brain.”
“I just called to get my coworkers off my back. They told me how wonderful you were. Wrong.”
Laughing, “Definitely wrong. I suck.”
“Okay, laugh it up, you smug bastard.”
“I can’t help it. You keep punching at who you think I am. I am amazed at the difference between your image of me and who I think I am.”
“Oh, sure. I know how therapy works: you get me to believe I have deep problems that need sixty sessions to fix, and then I have to come back week after week. Meanwhile you can’t see me cuz you’re on a cruise in the Mediterranean.”
“Actually it’s up to you to reschedule, which I’m thinking you’re not going to do. And I cruise the Caribbean.”
With utter contempt, “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? If I never rescheduled. But I’m not gonna give you the satisfaction.”
“So what do you want to do?”
“I don’t want to, but I’ll be back in two weeks, same time, same day. You’re not getting rid of me that easy.”
“I’m not trying to get rid of you.”
And so it went. Tina would crack a bit and then defend the crack.
“Damn you! I told you stuff last week that I should never have shared. I haven’t told anyone that crap in 40 years. And now you have the control. I hate you.”
Laughing, “That won’t be too hard.”
Laughing back, “I gave you a beach ball to hit. I thought you would.”
“See, there you go again being the smartest guy in the room.”
“Uh, unless you have a gender swap secret, I am the only guy in the room.”
Guffawing, “Okay, no. I mean I am not a dude, which leaves you. God, I don’t know how your wife puts up with you.”
“I don’t either. She is a saint.”
“Don’t agree with me when I slam you. That takes all the fun out of it.”
Slowly this very angry oyster opened and flushed out her septic secrets. One day she told me she was pissed off at me.
“Well, that’s not news. You’ve been busting my butt since we met.”
“You took away my sarcasm. I used to be really good at it, but I can’t pull it off anymore since you told me it was passive aggressive back biting anger. God! You take all the fun out of life.”
“I am a party pooper, loser, pathetic guy in a sweater.”
“That’s all true, but… uh, I’m only gonna say this once… (sotto voce) you are good at this.”
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.”
“I’m not gonna say it again.”
“I thought I heard you say I was good at this. Is that right?”
“I prefer intelligent donkey.”
“You would”, chuckling.
We worked faithfully and Tina got better. The super-guarded angry woman began taking risks, telling folks no, and making herself vulnerable. She revisited old guilt inducing memories and reconfigured responsibilities. Some bad folks had hurt her and convinced her adolescent self that it was her fault, always her fault.
Somewhere along the therapy journey she found herself, the part she loved and did not blame. That was a glorious day. Eventually this dark, angry female funnel cloud came in smiling and weeping tears of joy.
“I can’t believe how happy I am. I never would have believed it was possible. I pushed back the curtains at home. I don’t care if some pervert looks in my house. No one is going to steal my joy again.”
“That’s awesome. I am very happy for you.”
Then in her inimitable fork tongued way, “You really are good at this, but I’m still praying for your poor wife. I don’t know how she puts up with you.”
“I don’t either.”