“Oh dear! You must try to be brave.”
Said the shrink, passing a tissue.
Blowing my nose, I gazed and gazed at his face
& slowly and gradually as I was doing so
The sound grew dimmer and dimmer &
Finally disappeared. No more hydrogen balloon.
The shrink gave his lips a slight twitch,
But vouchsafed no reply beyond taking his
John Lennon glasses out and put it on the table.
The brackish taste of tears reminded me of her face
Ah, what comely face! Childishly red, pouting lips,
& delicate hands. I loved her with a blind, insensate
Passion. A passion clutched in the vice of lust.
I kept staring at his face and kept thinking about her.
Nervous, his pudgy fingers began their customary
Scrutiny of his face.
He crossed, uncrossed, crossed his legs
& reclined back on his arm chair.
“So, how are you feeling now?”
A crackled voice from a sweating face —
Like Rice Krispies crackling in the bowl.
“I don’t know. I don’t feel anything.”
“Don’t be absurd!” He cried.
“Seriously – I don’t feel, I don’t believe in anything.”
“Oh! Don’t be a Nihilist! No one lives in an
Absolute void, an airless vacuum. One must live by
Some principles. Prin—ci—ples!” He said distinctly,
“Some certain set of rules, some codes of conduct,
A belief to take a single step in life, or to draw a single
Breath, a life dedicated to God.”
I threw him a reproachful look
& glanced covertly from one wall to another.
He raised his eyebrows, jerked his head backwards,
Tried to say something, but remained quiet.
A naught in my chest tightened, save the bitter,
Galling sensation of an irrevocable failure.
A ghost of smile suddenly appeared on the shrink’s face:
A buttery and honeyed voice suffused the air —
“You must know where you want to go.
You must know where you are going.
You must know the basic principles!”
I gave him the laconic – ‘yes’ –
As an answer to this mere charlatan.
“So the principles are —”
The shrink began and went on and on.
It was a noise uttered in inconsolable way
Like the quack-quack-quacking of a duck.
I surrendered my mind wholly to the childlike
Play of his lonely, irregular thoughts
With misty waves of my past rising and falling
Inside the deep gorges of my mind,
I had no idea how long I kept listening to him
Time – was it flying like a humming bird?
Or crawling like a snail?
“But the fact is I’m unhappy.”
I intervened his train of speech.
“Unhappy? For what reason?
Because a girl left you?”
A response so curt, so rude flung back.
I frowned. “No, not that. I have no wish,
No enthusiasm to live. No desire to continue
“You’re yet young. You’re intelligent and independent.
What more could you desire?”
“What more?” I re-echoed, with a sigh.
“What more? I do not know.” I said again.
“Hmm … this is bad.” He reflected.
On the prescription pad he scribbled
With a touch of diffidence as cold &
As formal as a stagnant pool.
I craned my neck to see what he was writing
A long, winding ‘V’, illegible twist and turns
With an ‘m’ in the end. What? Was it a Valium?
Would you not refer some gemstone, eh?
Or any magical protection of a talisman?
I kept looking at him with gaping solemnity,
With edified boredom.
“I wish to see you next week.
To check your progress.” He said, passing me the
Wafer-thin sheet of paper, and smiling a wooden
& ingratiating smile.
Outside the sun shined through the rift of clouds
& a cool breeze blew across my face.
For a moment, I was happy.