Reality on the Clock

She’s left me two phone messages. I was busy yesterday. Today is almost over. My last patient of the day arrives soon. The phone is in my hand. I glance at the number written on a scrap of paper. Maybe unconsciously I wrote the wrong number down. Something prevents me from calling her. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t call her right now. I have reading to do. Paperwork awaits me on my desk. Which of the two messages troubles me? I should’ve waited before listening to her first message. It came at a bad time. Work has been more difficult than usual for a week or two. As a psychotherapist, my state of mind is important in whatever difficulties I experience. A significant person in my life has been away for a week, although my supervisor remains a mental presence, similar to my own psychoanalyst, whose couch I still speak on. But I need more than my supervisor’s mental presence this week. This last sentence doesn’t feel right. Mental presence is everything for a psychotherapist and for a psychoanalyst. So is reality. Maybe much of what I’ve written here is fantasy. What am I avoiding in myself? To start with, I’m avoiding my own words, images in my mind, my fantasies. In other words, I’m avoiding my inner world. I call her. We speak for longer than I would like. She asks me too many questions. I’m supposed to ask her questions. I’m disoriented. Something primitive is happening between us. I wish I knew what. What do I mean by primitive? She and I are trying to understand each other. Maybe I’m trying to misunderstand her. I don’t want to deal with more words and images. This must be a fantasy. Reality awaits me. I can read it on the clock. My last patient of the day arrives in a few minutes. I’m still on the phone. We agree to meet for an initial interview. I’m anxious. She’s probably anxious too. An image of my supervisor comes to me, and I realize what I’ve been avoiding: my own desire. I want to work with her. I feel it.

 

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