Frozen Words

This is the best I can do. Memory has its limitations. In fact, this might not be an accurate account of what transpired in words during several minutes, or maybe it was less or more, in a fourth floor office in downtown Seattle two days ago. I am certain of when I was last in his office. His books were the first thing I noticed on my way to the couch, before I found myself in what I sometimes imagine as a meditative position that becomes the center of my reality for fifty minutes every time I participate in a session of psychoanalysis. I am a participant. I’m not alone in the room. Since he doesn’t say much and hasn’t revealed anything about himself, why don’t I say that I am alone? His volumes of Freud remind me of his interpretations, his occasional words that are intended both for my conscious and unconscious minds. Once on the couch, I started to speak – my anxiety often refuses verbal delays – and I wished I could’ve stopped. A sentence arrived in my mind and left: stopping isn’t an option. Maybe these weren’t the words at all, but all I can do is attempt to recall those mental moments. What did I say in those opening minutes of the session? What did Martin hear? What comes to me is that my speech was full of nouns. Where were the verbs? Perhaps I was too anxious to speak of actions. I start to recall. I talked about two emails, one that I’d sent and the other that the recipient of mine had written me. I’d written to my old therapist, also a psychoanalyst, but of the Jungian kind. There wasn’t a couch in her office. I wanted Martin to know that I’d contacted her, and I was afraid how he would react to the news. He listened. He said something about it, and now his words seem determined to hide. I feel as I did on the couch: frozen.

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