Falling in Fall

By Heinz Schoeman-Struwig All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Humor

Shrink (wrap)

It’s lunch time Monday meaning it’s time to see Cynthia, my shrink.

I don’t particularly get why I need to see her, but my mom prefers it because she really ‘cares deeply about my well-being’ and also because when it gets dark I totally ‘bum her aura’ and make it hard for her to ‘connect with Jesus’.

I don’t really feel that seeing Cynthia has helped much though, she’s pretty slow. I’ve always found psychologists dumb because if they really were smart or any good at what they do they’d become psychiatrists.

“How are you feeling today” is Cynthia’s signature opening line. It’s usually either followed by “great thanks” and a myriad of bullshit so I can get out early or it’s followed with some half-truths that involve something to do with existential dread and extreme boredom in my life.

Today will be a half-truth day.

“I’m feeling the haze return a bit. I mean, I’ve always had this extreme boredom paired with this hollow feeling. But as you know: sometimes it’s worse than other times.”

She looks at me as though she wants me to continue, but instead I wait for her to speak.

“Why do you think you have this hollow feeling?”

What a dumb question. We’re always spinning in circles.

“Well, my pastor once said we all have a God-shaped hole that only God can fill. I figured. We all have it, this abyss inside of us that we try to fill with something if not everything.”

She blinks a couple of times.

“Drugs.

Sex.

Art.

They’re all unfulfilling when placed in the context of the abyss no matter the trip, how good your body gets rocked, or how much you surprisingly ‘don’t hate your artwork’.”

She seems a little shocked at my crass references to sex and drugs but holds her composure well.

“So I guess this is where I bring in Nietzsche, because I’m me and where I can I’ll make him relevant just like my pastor tried to make God relevant to everything, which maybe he is, I say playing with the God-awful pillow on my lap.

“Anyway, Nietzsche was probably taking a long pull on his cigarette thinking of the abyss of human suffering and said ‘beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.’ Now, as much as the monster part is relevant to the political climate, let’s focus on the abyss looking into you.”

I feel like I’m giving Cynthia a class in philosophy, but my words seem to fly over her head.

“Could it be that I should look into my hole, the potentially God-shaped one, until it looks back? Because that sounds like being asked to look at Medusa, not only because my abyss is likely winged, female, hideously ugly and has snakes for hair, but also because if you looked at it you’d probably turn to stone and to be honest, I’d at least like to be granite like David was.”

Cynthia seems confused, at this point I’ve probably referred to too many things outside of her frame of reference.

I look around in the silence.

I’m sitting on a brown leather and wood chair placed neatly in the corner and Cynthia on a similar one across from me. Between us, a glass and wood coffee table sits on a beige carpet that’s been here since this room was an admin office.

The silence continues as I wait for Cynthia to try find herself, although ironically I’m here to find myself.

We spin in a few more circles and don’t get anywhere, and by the time she’s gathered her thoughts to make a conclusion and give me ‘homework’ the bell rings and I up-and-leave to my next class. Biology. Bless.

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