Fortress of Solitude

This is the man I’ve chosen to help me kill those inner demons I’ve been nursing quite deftly all these years.

I know I’m at a bad place because my first instinct when I walked into his office and saw the tin of cookies, the strategically placed box of Kleenex and the assorted yoga books propped up in such a way that they look like miniature Indian men in loincloths are meditating on every available surface — I wanted to knock everything over.

But I settled on his comfy armchair and listened to him listen to me, as he probed my mind with a series of open-ended questions and scribbled my responses. He quotes me verbatim and I hope I’m making good reading material.

He says I’ve been grieving over the loss of a fantasy and that all the people who make me feel bad are just as good as figments of my imagination at this point. He says I set myself up for failure and damage while in Jakarta because I chose pointless, hurtful activities. He agrees all problems are existential.

He recommends yoga, exercise, meditation and doing fun things. He says I can learn to be mindful and to filter the things that hold my attention. He went on a lengthy exposition about the merits of a certain Dr. Kornfield who can slip into my subconscious with his baritone audio tapes. I am at least mildly disappointed that he didn’t prescribe Lithium or Prozac. Perversely, it makes me want to work hard to deserve a plastic vial of antidepressants.

I like him, he’s one of those affable New York Jewish-raised men with glasses, a full beard and an irrepressible positive attitude that makes you want to punch him. I’ll be speaking to him twice a month, for an hour and a half each session, until I get better — at which point I could be one with the friggin universe.

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