I glanced at her with cynical eyes. Here she was, another fucking shrink, sat there with crossed legs and a clipboard, dressed in a pinstriped jacket and an appropriately long skirt. Everything about her screamed establishment, everything from her subtle features to her sombre glasses. The look of consternation she had evidently practiced in the bathroom mirror of her studio flat made me cringe. I looked away, at the wall. I admired the smooth wall with its faint shade of cream emulsion. Plain and smooth, it didn’t judge me. It didn’t question me or consider me a danger.
‘I want to addr-’ she began, in her clipped, neutral accent.
‘Fuck off’ I interjected
She took this calmly. They always did, they had trained for years to be calm, so fucking calm in the face of everything. They didn’t feel. The numb people, the ones who show no emotion, they think I have problems.
‘I appreciate you expressing yourself.’
She was so polite. The falseness sickened me.
‘I understand you’ve been having visions again?’
She didn’t ‘understand’, she’d been told by the police, by the doctor, by whichever bureaucratic wanker they’d put in charge of monitoring my every incident. I kept staring at the wall. There is something quite timeless, something beautiful, about cream emulsion.
‘I would like to remind you that this session is voluntary, you can leave whenever you like.’
That was a lie. Sure, the door was unlocked. I could just walk out, walk down the hallway with its sterile smell and pastel shades. I could walk out of the oaken door, down the stone steps and out onto the street. I could walk around the chewing gum and the dog shit, I could cut through into Hyde Park. I could leave the path, take off my shoes and walk through the grass barefoot. I could lie down in the dew. I could sleep a while under pale blue skies. But when I wake up I’ll still be me. I’ll be the same wretched man. I’ll still have the seizures, the visions. I’ll see things no man has ever seen or should see. My eyes will greet the trembling darkness, the fear, the awe. I’ll feel the terror, the true terror of not knowing whether you’ll regain consciousness. She doesn’t know how it feels to fall to your knees, collapsing in public and screaming.
It was the screaming that got me here. They recommended I come here. To this shitty little calming room with this twenty-something Imperial graduate trying to probe my childhood for a clue to my problems. Frau Freud could try all she liked. She couldn’t talk a seizure out of me. Only the drugs did that. But drugs don’t sit well with judges and doctors. No, he must attend therapy, they say. Limit the drugs, try something less dangerous. I still have the seizures. It’s still dangerous. I was shopping on Bond Street last time. My head hit the pavement. I have twelve stitches now.
She’d been talking. I hadn’t heard a word of it. Experience told me I would not have missed much. She was making notes. She was scrawling something down in shorthand, looking straight at me as she did so. Perhaps it was another prescription. I doubted that. Probably a note stating that I was being difficult and resisting therapy. She didn’t know what I knew. She’d never seen the things I’d seen. I saw beyond all of life. I’ve seen it; how my life ends. I’ve seen how all life ends. I’ve seen all of time and space, stretched out before me in a perfect continuum. It’ll be one hell of a party, though I won’t be around to see it. Tonight I drown myself.