First Session

session 1

Sofa. Davenport. Divan.
It could go by so many names, but
in here — invariably — it’s a couch.

“So… like this?” I ask, as I lie down.
As if I’ve never reclined on a couch before
and don’t know how.

“I thought this was just a cliché,” I admit.
Therapist smiles, bemused.

I shift my weight on the sagging sofa,
try to find a comfortable position.
But of course, there isn’t one.
Lumps in the cushions, scratchy fabric.
Is that a spring poking me in the hip?

Oh, I guess not. I pull the car keys from my pants pocket.
There, that’s better. A little.

“See if you can relax.” Therapist’s disembodied words
float across the room.
I squirm. I want to see her face,
read her body language.
But apparently that’s the point of not seeing her.
It takes her out of the equation, she says.
Or some such thing.

I stare straight up.
White fiberboard tiles rest on a metal grid.
What’s it called? A false ceiling?
Dropped? Suspended?
So many names for one thing.

I squirm some more on the sofa/couch.

Therapist does not speak.
Is she still there?
Has she nodded off to sleep?
She could be working crossword puzzles
for all I know.
I’m tempted to sit up and check on her, but I don’t.

What should I say?
What does therapist want to hear?
Why is it called a couch and not a sofa?
How much loose change has fallen from patients’ pockets
over the years, as they lay here for their sessions?
Does therapist collect it at day’s end from amongst
the lumpy, scratchy cushions?
Does she spend it the following morning on the newspaper that
carries the crossword she’s probably working right now?

I clear my throat.
How much time has elapsed?
I want to look at my watch. Timepiece. Chronometer.
But it seems inappropriate somehow,
to check my watch/timepiece
as I lay here on the sofa/couch,
staring at the false/dropped ceiling.

If only I could relax, I bet
I wouldn’t care what time it was.
In fact, it might even feel to me as though
time — like the ceiling — were suspended.

What’s a six-letter word for vulnerability?

NaPoWriMo, day four.

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in daily prompt, humanity, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to First Session

  1. Excellent. Just wow. ❤ The loose change collection reminded me of Romans collecting coins out of the Fontana di Trevi. Do you know how much they collect?? It averaged thousands of dollars a day in 2016. And if they admit to this much, there must be more.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Peggy Lemmer says:

    Wow! The muse is back! Perhaps she understands vulnerability/helplessness/impotence. Perhaps everyone does.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2018 – Day 4 – “Tonight Belongs To You” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  4. Very very well done. I liked this. Thank you for writing

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jodine says:

    I like this a lot. Can relate but I’ve never lay down on the couch. I’m intrigued. Usually I’m sitting on a couch and my therapist is perpendicular to me, but we can see each other…I can’t hide. I find that very vulnerable. Funny, how it’s same but different

    Liked by 1 person

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