Everyone Needs a Little Therapy

January 7, 2012
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I sat in my favorite chair, the black leather one that had the perfect dent in it for my body to fit comfortably. I faced the soft hunter green couch where my patients sat. This one was a study in darks and lights draped in dark expensive cloth. Flickering lights from the city below streamed through my big picture windows and filled the dimly lit room. A soft bell could be heard ringing from the sidewalk below.
“So when did this all start, this...this addiction?” I looked up from my pad and towards my newest patient.

“About three years ago, I guess.” He sat, reclined, on the hard leather couch. He ran a pale hand through his thick black hair, sinking deep into his memories. “I think it started when I changed-I guess that’s typical enough. Sometimes changing doesn’t bring out the best in people. I know it didn’t with me. One day I was just a normal guy, just an average Joe, and then I was an addict. I just couldn’t get enough. Wow, even now just thinking about it, the taste just fills my mouth. The sweetness, the thick linger-”

“Vlad.” I spoke quickly seeing the desire in his eyes, the tensing of his muscles. “Your addiction is sensitive yet. We’re trying to focus on the cause of it, not the feel of it.”

“Yes, yes. I know.” He said nodding. “I don’t think anything in my childhood set it off. I was a normal kid. I had two parents, loving parents, a dog, and even a white picket fence!” He put his hand through his hair again, and I was surprised to see a bit of blond at the roots. “I had it all. I had been happy.”

“Happiness is what you make it. Some things make some people happy, but not necessarily all of them. What makes other people happy might not make you happy. Were you really happy or were you supposed to be happy?” I watched him slowly come out of his memory influenced daze.

“I was never unhappy,” was all he said.

“Tell me about your mother then,” I said slowly, cautiously. I picked up my mug sitting next to me, it read “#1 Dad!”. I noticed he hadn’t touched his water glass; it just sat dripping on the coaster under it. “I know she has been missing for a while, and I can’t help but wonder if this is helping to fuel your addiction, you said yourself that she had been loving towards you since you were a child.”

“Ah. Dear old mum,” he smiled slowly, white teeth glinting. “She was a doll, such life within her.”

“How did she treat you when you were a child?”

“Like all the other moms! How else? She woke me in the morning and then cooked for me. She was always cooking. The smell of food always lingered on her clothes and in her hair. When she would hug me good night I could smell the ham we had for dinner when I buried my nose in her soft sweaters,” he smiled. “I even remember her cooking the last time I saw her. She had been making a gingerbread house, and I could practically taste it on her,” he chuckled, and I just stared.

“Taste it on her? Ok, um, moving on.” I ruffled through my papers, a little flustered. Who was this guy? “I see that you miss her. Your addiction might stem from her disappearance. You now have a void in your life, and you feel the need to fill it with something.”

“A void? Hmm. I certainly feel this ‘void’. It grows inside of me and I ache to fill it, now that you mentioned it. All I can think about is quelling this thirst inside of me, this...this emptiness. Whatever I do it refuses to be filled.”

“Yes, losing your mother might have that effect.”

“But, Doc, I have felt this thirst since before my mother disappeared. What does that mean?”

“What? Your addiction started before this whole thing with your mother? Your addic-”

“You keep throwing that word around. ‘Addiction’.” He interrupted, smiling. “It’s so much more than that to me. It is my life now. And yes, my new life started before my mother’s disappearance.” He stood up and walked to the window, his shoulders tense. “Doc, could my ‘addiction’, as you so mildly put it, have something to do with my poor mother? There is been this crazy idea that is been floating through my mind. I’ll just be sitting at home reading a book, trying to escape everything, and-POP!-there it is! Back in my head!I have so many questions.” He turned around slowly, white teeth flashing in the dimly lit room. Was I wrong or was there something off about his smile? “I have so very few answers.”

“I-I-I...answers? I should have answers.” I looked at my framed diploma. I just sat in silence. I didn’t know what to say! I mean what do you say to this guy?

“Oh, Doc. You’re letting me down. Here I was thinking therapy would solve all of my problems answer all of my questions. Answer all of my questions about my...addiction. My addiction to-”

“Vlad! I think we have timed out. I don’t normally hold my sessions so late. My wife and children are probably worried. Worried about where I am, and why I’m so late in getting home. Maybe we could schedule another appointment? I feel like we’ve made much progress today. Yep, lots of progress.” I stood up and rushed over to my desk, spitting out mumbo jumbo as I went. Something about this guy sent shivers down my spine. I don’t know why I agreed to meet with him in the first place. Oh, that’s right, I had seen his clothes when he had walked into my office. Black Armani pants and a heavy Rolex watch. Why must I be so greedy? “Progress. Progress.Progress.”

“Calm down, Doc. I feel like I’ve only just begun.” He smiled at me again. Yep, there was something wrong about his teeth. They were really really white and kind of pointy. Sharp white teeth. Really pale skin. Dark hair, died but dark. Creepy aura. I let my head fall to the side. Huh, if I didn’t know better I would have thought- “Why are you staring at me? Do I have something in my teeth? My mom stared at me that way the last time I saw her.” He ran his hands over my thick wooden desk. He picked up one of my framed pictures. “Pretty wife.” He said mildly as he looked at it, and I began to tremble. “I think my dad misses his wife a lot. I bet he wishes he were the last one to see her. Unfortunately, I believe I was.”

“Uhhhhhh.” Was all I could get out of my shaky body. He just laughed.

“Oh, Doc. I’m so thirsty.” And before I knew what was happening, he lunged at me.

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