Couple Hundred Seconds in the Bones

I’d been in this room a hundred and thirteen times before, and this time felt different. This wasn’t my first Tuesday here, and I’d been seated in this same chair at 10:57 many times. Two women, each in a chair on either side of me, were reading on their phones. I glanced around the room and stared at the wall opposite me, waiting for the light next to my psychotherapist’s name to turn off. She was a particular kind of therapist, a psychoanalyst, and I knew that as part of her training she’d sat in another waiting room for hundreds of sessions more than a hundred and thirteen. I sometimes wondered how she’d experienced those moments of anticipation and anxiety. Experiences in this room of waiting had taught me that anticipation often led to frustration on the couch during the fifty-minute hour that I was waiting for to start. Perhaps as an unconscious rule, I entered this waiting space with chairs, a sofa, and tables four or five minutes before I knew that the light alongside my psychoanalyst’s name would turn off, which gave me time to use the restroom and sit in silence for some moments before I would walk up the stairs to the second floor. Something unusual happened this morning in those couple hundred seconds before eleven: time seemed to slow down, and the room and everything in it appeared new to me, as if I’d never been here before. Maybe I hadn’t, in this frame of mind. I could feel my bones, and I knew I was alive. Some more seconds passed, and the light turned off. I was ready for the couch, or this frame of mind was.

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