Fiction: The ABC Story – Therapy



The doctor looked up from his notebook at the patient lying on the couch in front of him. ‘Mr. Humbert, Hal, tell me about your dreams. What did you dream about last night?’

Hal cleared his throat, ‘A bi-curious, dead elephant found grotesquely hanging in Jeju, Korea. Lists made nightly of pithy quotes. Really strange things unearthed via wobbly X-rays. Young zebras.’

‘How fascinating. How do you feel when you wake up?’

‘Annoyed. Bored. Chagrined. Drained. Enraged. Furious. Grumpy. Harried. Insulted. Jaded. Kerfuffled. Light-headed. Morose. Negative. Ornery. Pathetic. Quixotic.  Rueful. Sad. Tired. Underwhelmed. Violent. Weird. Xenophobic. Yucky. Zealous.’

‘I see. So from these sessions what do you hope to gain? How do you want to feel by the end of this?’

‘Amiable. Boisterous. Cheery. Delightful. Energised. Funny. Gregarious. Happy. Iridescent. Jubilant. Kinetic. Lovely. Magnificent. Nice. OK. Peachy. Qualm-free. Righteous. Stupendous. Terrific. Unbiased. Verbose. Wonderful. Xenophilic. Youthful. Zesty.’

‘Interesting. My job is to get you there and if we work together I think this will be possible with only one session per week.’ The doctor smiled. ‘Does that sound good to you?’

‘After basketball classes does everybody feel gross? Have I just kicked Lobster Johnson’s mandible node on purpose? Quietly reveal secrets to Uncle Vanya while Xavier yells, “Zucchinis!”’

The doctor opened his notebook, ‘Better make it two sessions a week.’

Originally published June 2012


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