Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Red Chair: Excerpt (1)

I remember that chair. He had a red leather wingback chair in his office. You know the scent

of old leather, that slightly sweet, half musky smell of it? It permeated the entire room in a

subtle perfume that lingered on my clothes after our sessions. I remember that chair all too

clearly. Somehow, I managed to forget the discussions but the chair… The chair was just burned

into my mind in every detail, right down to the way the padding beneath would feel like a coiled

animal with the springs as bones.

Three years ago, the sessions ended and I did my best to forget everything. I bared my soul

and told the company every possible thing about my past. And yet, here I am, seemingly

stepping back into that routine of walking into his office and sitting in that chair every Thursday.

Last week, I got a tape in the mail. At first, I didn’t know what it was. There was no return

address on the label and no manifest in with the package. But once I put that tape into the

player, I knew. I just don’t know why they sent it to me. Perhaps somebody is concerned about

me or concerned about him. I think I just want to forget, though. I’m sure I said too much.

He said his mother hated him when he was a boy. He said she wanted a daughter but she had

him, so she tried to make do with what she had. As a kid, he said that he had fantasies of

self-castration, where his mother came in and suddenly loved him as he lay dying. She’d cry and

plead that god doesn’t take her baby and then somehow, everything was right with the world.

Usually, however, he said that she just ignored him or treated him like crap. After all, what

mother could do anything with a son who didn’t love opera or want to have tea on Sunday

afternoon, right?

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