Shrink

“I don’t know why I’m here.”

“You mentioned that you feel you’re throwing your life away by choosing a career in the humanities rather than in STEM.”

“But why am I here? What do I expect you to do about it?”

“My job is to listen to you, and offer you my professional input. My job is to help you.”

“But all I’m going to do is drone on about my discontent, under the hopeless assumption that talking about it will help, which I’m pretty much convinced is the agreed upon dogma all shrinks push so that they retain more clients. I’ve pretty much already decided that I most likely won’t follow your advice because I don’t believe it will help me. Convince me that I’m not wasting my time and money on these sessions.”

“…”

“…”

“You are wasting your time and money on these sessions. You should probably stop seeing me.”

There was a pause.

“I don’t think that’s in my best interest, Doc…”

“And what is in your best interest?”

“WHAT?! I don’t know what’s in my best interest! That’s why I’m HERE!”

What began with writing somehow turned into near-shouting, and he realized he had gotten carried away. He glanced over his shoulder and then swiveled 180 in his desk chair and leaned over to get a look through the doorway into the hall to make sure he hadn’t been caught audibly spewing his thoughts again. There’s nothing quite like the looming uncertainty of whether your housemates are worried about you, when you know they probably haven’t even given it a second thought, and that the only one who is actually worried is yourself, but you really haven’t expressed that to anyone yet, at least . . . you might’ve . . . but not in a particularly direct manner, and certainly not one that constitutes interventional action on their part, as if anyone even has time for that, or would even consider it . . . not that it’s actually necessary, but…

“Hey. Are you listening?”

He hadn’t been. But he turned his head as if he were actually about to tune in, eyes still fixed on some point in the direction of, but somewhere beyond where the wall meets the floor.

“Look, man, have you ever considered going to a psychologist or something?”

In fact, he had.

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