A SUBSTITUTE FOR LOVE
O IT’S OVER FOR GOOD THEN. I will not see her again. The first real relationship of my life is over. I feel desolate. I’ve got a headache, tired and emotional. My emotions are all shaken up.
I said I feel attracted to you and had warm feelings so it’s hard to stop dead after sixteen weeks, and be then left with nothing. But she stopped me; you wasn’t left with nothing—you had the experience of us being together. It didn’t feel like that at the time. But did it later? Yes, it does now.
Sarah in red-brown bun of hair, brown cardigan, white top and brown check mini-skirt, black stockings and long voluptuous thighs. She said she had spoken to Dr ------, who’s psychologist for this area, and told him she thinks I could benefit from further therapy, and he agreed that would be a good thing. But it wouldn’t be with her, because she doesn’t work for him anymore, but it would be here, with someone else. I said it would be hard seeing someone else, here; I’d feel jealous seeing you go in room with someone else. I’m not in that room anymore, she interrupted. No, the room doesn’t matter. It’s that I can continue therapy with someone else.
She said I’m not your mother. No, but you’re my doctor and you help me. You don’t need help, you’re a fully grown man. You have power. You can do what you want.
She says it’s better to come for help when you’re not in crisis, you can make more progress then. Instead of firing on two cylinders, better to come on all six cylinders.
She said it’s to my credit that I wrote a letter and came back to see her again. To my credit in the month & a half waiting for her to write, I found alternative ways of coping with the blackness and getting out of it. She asked if I was in any relationships now. No of course not. Like with the girl in the club or girl at the station? No, no relationships like that. I wasn’t criticising, she said. I didn’t mean it to sound like I’m criticising.
Perhaps this will give me strength, this rapprochement, in unforeseeable ways. I feel relieved to have patched things up.
I talked about my Swiss gold, copper pennies. She says I know what a massive amount of gold you’ve got inside. In our discussions when you let me inside, I felt your gold. I found our conversations so interesting, they were important to me.
Scrooge seems so hateful, I’m not nasty to other people—she interrupted well perhaps not with words, but actions speak louder than words. I agreed.
I was weird as a baby. She interrupted me, but that’s making yourself out to be very special isn’t it. I smiled, and she did too, and I laughed.
She talked about me robbing ------. Because I wrote her for personal details which must have been hard for her, but then gave her nothing of myself.
When I spoke about copper pfennigs, she said “There you go then. You can build on that.”
I said no, I can’t do more. Well, you don’t have to do more immediately. You have the Swiss gold in you, and you have the power to give it. But if you let someone into your gold so many good things could happen.
At the end, we stood up, I picked up my coat and bag, she held out her hand and wished me luck, she put her hand on my shoulder and said “I hope you do something”. Take care of yourself or something like that, what was it?
A strange phrase “I hope you do something”: what did it mean? In life, with my book, or just writing to Dr -----. She said she hoped I would come back for more therapy.
She followed me to the front door, and said kindly “see you”. “See you” I said glancing back, too briefly, leaving, the door clicking shut behind me.
You never think people are going to be nice to you do you? No I certainly don’t! No, she echoed.
If you are going to continue with therapy, I don’t think you can continue to build the walls around yourself. You always come up with 101 reasons for not doing something.
Sarah urged me to continue with therapy: she wanted me to.
Sarah was saying if I’d passed her in the street, I wouldn’t have looked twice at her.