Conversations with my psychiatrist

I stopped by the coffee shop on my way to work this morning and searched the menu for the most caffeinated drink, knowing all along that I wasn’t just tired. I was tired of the quiet, tired of the alone, tired of being tired, and no amount of coffee could ever wake me up from that. I inhaled the smell of freshly ground beans, and thought I caught a hint of pastries. Maybe brownies.

I made brownies with Jane once. Actually, she did all the baking, but I stood there in the kitchen and wrapped my arms around her as she stirred the mix, kissed her on the ear from behind. I was pretty useless in the kitchen, but Jane insisted that baking was a romantic activity, so I played along. I remember dipping my finger into the batter when she was done.

Hey! Stop it!” She swatted my hand away from the bowl, half-angry eyes flashing at me from behind the strands of hair that had come out of her ponytail during the bustle of baking and now fell around her pretty face.

“Don’t be mad,” I teased, holding my chocolate covered finger temptingly in front of her. Suddenly smiling, she arched her eyebrows devilishly and promptly licked the brownie batter right off my finger.

 “How long does this have to be in the oven for?” I asked.

“Twenty minutes,” she said.

“Well that’s plenty of time…”

I remember how I swept her right up and carried her up the steps in her pink floral dress and how she laughed up at me as we ran to the bedroom. I remember how the laughter subsided and we suddenly became very quiet as I lowered her down onto the bed… how easily her dress slipped off…


“I thought I was going to die today.”

“Why? What happened?” She looked at me earnestly and leaned in just a little bit, just enough that I thought I could feel her breath against my face. Maybe it was just my cheeks growing warm.

“I was crying.” Men aren’t supposed to cry, and I know this, but I’ve stopped caring about what I’m supposed to or not supposed to do these days. “I was crying so hard that I started choking. Choked so hard I was gasping for breath. And for a horrible few seconds there, I knew that was the end. Death by tears. Can you imagine that?”

She nodded her head as she scribbled something down in her frustratingly neat notebook in the lap of her frustratingly pink dress. I’m sure it said something like, Patient exhibits signs of depression and suicidal tendencies — or is it a fear of death?

“You’re not going to die, I can promise you that.”

Shows how much she knows.


I’m not very good at guitar, but I’m decent enough. I like playing for myself when the house is empty and no one is home to hear my out-of-tune singing or to notice how off-beat my strumming is. Jane’s caught me playing on many occasions before, but there was one time that was different than the rest.

Inspiration randomly struck me one day last December. I was humming to myself and Jane crossed my mind and I guess I just started writing a little song in my head. It was a few weeks before Christmas and I had no idea what to get her anyways, so I figured…maybe I could write her a song. And so I did.

“Okay, so I’ve never done this before,” I told her nervously on Christmas morning, guitar in my lap.

“Never serenaded a girl before?” She let out a little giggle.

“Actually, I’ve played for a girl before — ”

Her eyes widened. Damn, I probably shouldn’t have said that.

“I mean, I’ve played for a girl before, but it wasn’t like this. I don’t know why I’m so nervous.” I didn’t know how to explain to her that this was different, that she was different. “Anyways, here goes.”

Outside the window there’s a cold winter storm
But with you in my arms, I’ve never been so warm.
Our legs are all tangled — don’t know who’s who,
Every morning’s Christmas when it’s a morning with you…

Jane’s eyes were tearing up a bit, but when I kissed her I felt a smile on her lips.


“There was a full moon last night.” Our meetings always seem to start this way, with me saying something that means absolutely nothing.

“Yes, I saw. It was quite beautiful.”

“I saw the man on the moon. His eyes, his nose, mouth, everything.”

“Oh?” Her forehead furrowed slightly with concern.

“He told me I didn’t have long left. He said they’d take me eventually, the way they took Jane.”

“They’d ‘take’ you? Who is ‘they’?” She seemed sincerely curious.

“I don’t know. How would I know? I’m just telling you what he said. But the moon was really very beautiful last night.”

She smiled at me. It caught me by surprise — it was a nice smile, not the you have a good day too smile that the cashiers give me at the grocery store, or the we’re looking at a sunny weekend smile that the weatherman gives me from somewhere far away. An eerie calm washed over me and the man on the moon faded away to the back of my mind. I wanted to kiss that smile.


I liked showering with Jane, especially in the morning. She always woke up as soon as her alarm went off, but me, I’d roll around in bed for another ten minutes until I heard the water start running. That usually motivated me to get up.

“When will you be back from work tonight?” She asked as she wrapped a soft towel around her, water droplets from her hair making a little puddle around her feet.

“Hopefully by seven,” I said, as I idly began to draw the number “7” on the fogged up medicine cabinet. I proceeded to draw a smiley face next to it.

“You’re such a child,” she snorted, pushing me out of the way and opening the cabinet. “Don’t forget to take your pills.”

“Ah, ever the organized one.” Sheepishly, I took them from her and swallowed. “What would I do without you?”


“They talked to me again today,” I said to her. This time, I was frightened.

“How did they talk to you? What did they say?” I stared at the pen in her hand, all poised and ready to record my fears.

“The mirror on the medicine cabinet. It fogged up after my shower. Saw a message. Said I have a week left. Seven days.”

She started jotting something down in her notebook.

I was seized by a sudden panic. “No!” I lunged out for the pen, realizing with horror that if she wrote down what I said, they’d go after her too. My fingers curled around it, grasped, slipped…the pen seemed to erase into thin air. “No—you’re all I have left— ”

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