For an hour we argue about the days of the week: their colours. Wednesdays are BLUE just darker than the sky and Thursdays BROWN; Sunday is GREEN, Saturday is CHARCOAL, Fridays are unequivocally YELLOW.
“But Monday cannot be RED,” says the therapist, “just as Tuesday should not be LIGHT GREY”
I cannot back up my findings; they are intuitive as my hand finding the dip of her waist in the morning of an Autumn Thursday or Summer Wednesday or a Spring Friday.
The therapist is BOTTLE-GREEN; in silence we watch the raindrops well up and run down the window pane. She has an actor’s off—stage presence; cracks jokes like she’s a glass of wine ahead. How can I not be in love with this woman? Who will reflect, straight back at me, herself all knowing.
Can there be anything better than laughing at everything? Now she shakes her head in wonder, puts down the last edition of MAD comic. If I could only convince her of Monday’s colour, not BLOOD or WINE RED, closer in hue to Thursday: the RED of some DEAD LEAVES or LEATHER-BOUND BOOKS. It must be this way: It has always been thus, but as she pulls down colour charts and spectrum pin wheels it strikes me: she may have had a very different childhood.
Friday SILVER clouds. That it’s overcast is irrelevant, outside I notice the daily miserable beagle is not even chained up, just loitering by the sapling in the cold. Of late the therapist has been seeking my counsel. She is writing a paper called “The Client As Therapist” due for publication in Psychology Today next quarter.
“There’s no humility in self loathing”, I tell her.
“Eating nothing isn’t really eating, it’s just nothing”.
“You analysts all think you’re fucking poets” she complains.
“Why do you think you feel such animosity towards poets? “I ask her.
“Because they are trying to undo all my hard work” she cries.
The clock is pinioned between then and now, between her smile and mine. She, however, takes off her spectacles and hands them back to me.
“Thank you,” I say “I’m afraid our session is up.”
“I suppose I’ll get back to the ghost hunt.”
She takes up her Sony tape recorder and ball of parcel string.
“What are you going to do,” I ask her, “If you find any ghosts?”
Saturday is mostly INDIGO and someone has chained up the miserable beagle, how he whimpers; we resume the traditional Humanistic approach.
“Tell you one thing though,” I tell her,
“as irrational minds go, this one’s none too shabby…
and what if, we need these knots and these tangles….
because they’re the only things holding our souls down…
and if we untied the knots and untangled the tangles and stretched them out, taut like guitar strings (a tautology), would our souls just float away, with nothing to tether them, would they make a bid for freedom and just float away?”
She resists this at first but eventually concedes that it’s a very real possibility.
By hollow ASHEN Tuesday she, of the dipped waist who will not be described, has me languishing in silence. When broken i describe to her my dream of fleeing the country for somewhere inspiring; somewhere I can write poetry.
“Do you want to talk about poetry?” She asks in a tone of dismissal.
“Actually I’d just as soon not,” I mutter,
The therapist doesn’t push me. Perhaps only her waist is truly relevant poetry, or is that just another metaphor for male intuition.
“And your destructive libido?” she raises one eyebrow then the other.
“Nowadays,” I announce, “when I feel the urge to masturbate, I just paint or write a poem”
“That’s quite an analogy” she howls, but then, out of character, it’s all handshakes and hard, believable smiles.
Sunday finds me feeling colourless and in need of a chilli con carne. Dried kidney bean from a clear plastic packet are the colour of Thursday. Whereas Monday, on closer consideration, is more of an AMBER they taste like dust.
The therapist is reflecting outside the window pane. I see the outline of her square jawed youth. I imagine her featuring in some great American war film tearing towards the camera, peeling bullets from her automatic and screaming,
“I’LL GIVE YOU MEANING, YOU SONOVABITCH”
In the harbour beyond the movie set, where fake wounds are touched up by lovely thin fingered girls she could “recline” in a “reclining” chair and smoke a mild cigarette; but something is amiss: her hand shakes ash into the pleats of her trousers. My eyes feel her thighs as words spring to mind. Cordite would probably be an appropriate word to use here. She is dynamite; in combat uniform surrounded by fir trees in the mist sound like distant gunfire.
With dry throats we drink BLACK coffee and eat Smarties. I drop a handful into my coffee and watch the petrol clouds rise up. Rain lashes the gazebo. It is disconcerting, that she has given me Smarties, I hurl it disconcertingly back and say as much. The near end is initiated by me pulling a thin coat around my shoulders. She shrugs. For the past week she has been practising Shrug Therapy
“how do you think it’s going?” she asks.
I shrug, sullenly
“Attaboy!” she says.
A little boy is trying to feed candyfloss to the miserable beagle who keeps growling, turning his snout away; Monday and I still don’t know what colour it is worse still, this has a direct affect on Thursday which fucks up the whole week. But the fantasies remains and runs rampant; as I recall a dream that pass her the peanut butter which is the colour of neither; she runs her fingers around the inside of the jar suggestively. I am sure of one thing only, that I can rely on Tuesday; that girl in a RED dress, running past the café window; there is contrast as she does so against a GREY background.
The boy unties the beagle and takes him home. Oh for another Tuesday with the therapist, everything else is BLACK and WHITE.