Sad Sentences

It was time to write an old friend. The email seemed to write itself for a few sentences. Then the words stopped. It was evening, work was behind me, I wasn’t in a hurry, or so I thought, and I walked toward the kitchen to fetch a beer. Why couldn’t I write about the images in my mind? His fourth floor office might have appeared in my mind first. Then came the bookshelves, the windows with views of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound, Martin’s desk with books and a laptop on it, and the couch. Maybe the couch appeared first and last and a few times in between. I was afraid to tell my friend that I was in psychoanalysis. Across from the kitchen, in our apartment, are the bookshelves, and I stopped there before opening the fridge. Seconds later a paperback found me. We knew each other. I’d read it last year, before discovering the desire in myself to contact a psychoanalyst. The author had the experience that I was having, six years and four-times-a-week of the experience, and his account of those years speaks volumes about the uncertainty involved in becoming a patient or analysand. I almost wrote that his book was about the risks one takes on the couch. The opening sentences of this paragraph felt more welcoming when I returned from the kitchen with alcohol and a paperback. As if the sentences yet to be written had their own plan, I started to write before realizing that I was doing so. My old friend wouldn’t care that I was lying on a couch a few times a week. I became sad when I remembered how much time had passed since the last time I’d written her words. Maybe I’d been afraid of feeling sad. Writing can make me sad. I finished the beer as I wrote the final sentence. The paperback and I would now have some time together.



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