“You’ve been doing well I see.” she said to me as I laid on her couch.
In self reflection, I found it amazing how comfortable I had grown with this woman. I was perfectly fine reclined on her couch, open to her guidance and advice.
Remembering my views on women back then, it was quite remarkable. I was as chauvinistic and pigheaded as they came, as were most Brutors.
“Yeah, I got no complaints.” I said, still somewhat more dismissively than intended. My emotional walls were so quick, so instinctive. I didn’t even have to think about deflecting anything that made me uncomfortable to talk about; it just happened reactively. That was something that sorely needed my attention.
“I listened to your concert. It was very good, and must’ve taken a lot for you to get up on stage like that, especially in hostile enemy territory.” she continued.
I didn’t know whether she was referencing Jita as hostile, Caldari as hostile, or massive crowds of people as hostile, as they all bothered me equally.
“Yeah, it went better than I thought it would.” I replied without any particular interest. I snickered a little at myself, remembering one faux pas that occurred on stage, involving me tripping me over some wires and stumbling as I regained my balance; the audience laughter certainly was mortifying, but life went on.
“Still, you’ve been making great strides forward in your endeavour for self-improvement. You should feel good about yourself today.”
I had a hard time accepting compliments or praise. I was always suspicious of the sarcasm, and anticipated the punchline every time.
It wasn’t that I was self-deprecating; there were many things about my life I was proud of. It was more that I didn’t really require the approval of others. If you liked what I did or if you didn’t, it never really affected me directly, and I wouldn’t be changing who I was to accommodate you.
I suppose the fact that I had been undergoing therapy dictated otherwise, but I’d wager that was at least part of what made us such compelling and complex organisms.
“Well, thanks doc.” I said without a hint of sarcasm.
“Not at all, Colonel Wieler.” she replied.
The hairs on the nape of neck stood on end. There was something about her addressing me formally that gave me chills. Every time she had done this in our previous sessions resulted in something awkward and uncomfortable coming my way.
“I was thinking that we need to take your inner expressions to the next level.” she said.
Wait for it.
And there it was, like a kick to the groin.
“I believe it would be positively reinforcing to nurture this aspect of your persona. It will be healthy, cleansing.”
She seemed very satisfied with herself, probably fully aware of the new level of squirreliness she had incited in me.
There was no point in protesting, as much as my mind screamed at me to do so. She would contrive something even more embarassing as an alternative, and frankly I didn’t even want to entertain the notion as to what that might be.
“Poetry, eh?” I said, chewing on the words, wishing I could spit them out, along with the idea.
“Alright, doc. I’ll give it a try. You’re the shrink.” I said, trying to take a desperate jab at her in some way; some juvenile attempt at establishing my male dominance.
She didn’t bite at the bait.
“Yes I am, Colonel, and our hour is up. See you next week.”