Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cream cheese & olives

Before I left for the harp & vocal concert at the library, I took out the cream cheese to let it soften on the kitchen table. Then I left, planning to meet 2 friends there, who I was 60 percent certain would not show up.

They didn't but two other friends did.

I spent a lot of time at the concert looking at the man's neck in front of me. The median age was 70. I had a lot of fun looking at necks and hairdos and making up stories about people while listening to the harp concert, that is, what I could HEAR of it in the back of the room.

The man's neck was totally wrinkled. No one else's neck was wrinkled at all. This is the back of the neck, mind you. I will ask Scott about this. He has various esoteric expertises esp. about the body. Scott is a body-builder and an athlete. I hate bragging about him but it's central to my story. If he hadn't left for work already, I'd ask him about the back of the man's neck. It was just a roadmap of wrinkles, which in our American culture are forbidden signs of aging.

Half the people in the audience are Abington Library Groupies. They come out for whatever event is playing at the library. An older man and woman were sitting next to each other. I was trying to figure out if they were married. They were talking occasionally. I decided their hairdos matched up. They were not leaning toward the other like married people do but I figured they were sick of each other and liked the freedom of pretending they were alone. And independent.

A two-year-old child was at the concert. No, he was not by himself. He was not a baby Mozart, but was toted in by his mother. That kid did not make a peep! In fact, halfway into the concert the mother rose from her seat with Baby Mozart, walked to the head of the room & plunked herself down on the floor so she & Baby Mozart could get a better view. That mother sure knew her kid.

As for me, I never once glimpsed the harpist. That's how bad my seat was. And that's why I kept up such a head-chatter with the audience. The woman sitting next to me is from our group. At first I thought it was my imagination that she was staring at me. Then I looked over and it was true. SHE WAS STARING AT ME! She gave me a little smile and I groaned inside. Was she in love with me? She has two grown boys.

One never knows.

When I got home the cream cheese was soft. I cut some olives with a scissors and plopped them amidst the cream cheese. I like to talk on the phone when I cook but it was dinnertime. So I turned on Jefferson Airplane.

Then I spread five sesame rice crackers with the cream cheese mix and began munching. SUPER! Then I buttered five more. And then five more. This was my supper. Fifteen in all and Jefferson Airplane.

I did a terrific psychiatric intervention on Saturday. I see clients any day they're free and I'm free. Before he came over I said to myself, Ruthie, are you sure you can help this man? Maybe you should send him to someone who knows what they're doing. Everyone tells me what a terrific therapist I am but you know what? I don't for a minute believe them.

The saying is, You're only as good as your last poem. I haven't written a good poem in over a week so I thought my therapy would be ineffective. Turns out I sent him an email when the session was over. I wrapped up our entire appointment in the email with clear instructions on how to proceed.

Today he wrote back. Due to my intervention he got the guidance he needed and untangled himself from his yearlong problem.

Let us eat.