"This is a bad idea."
"Come on, Drew. What did we talk about?"
"We talked about being positive bu-"
"That's it. We talked about being positive. This is going to help you. Okay? Just be positive."
"Okay. But, Sally, I don't have a good feeling about this. We're whispering. Why are we whispering?"
"We always whisper! And besides you said you didn't have a good feeling about me-"
"And I was right."
"I thought you said you changed your mind."
"Just because I changed my mind doesn't mean I was wrong in the first place."
"That was mean, Drew."
"I know...I'm sorry. Are you made?"
"You're mad aren't you?"
"I'm not mad, Drew. If I was mad I would tell you."
"You only say that when you're mad."
"When did you start paying attention?"
"I always pay attention."
"Alright, Drew, there's no script here. I'm going to show you a picture and you're just going to say the first thing that comes to mind, no matter how short or long. You can say one word or an entire paragraph. It's up to you. Is that alright?"
The lighting in the room is very dim but that's only because Dr. Tom decided to shut the blinds to make this experience more intimate. I don't know how it could be intimate with the camera shoved in my face and the weird humming from the lights above. The sofa I'm sitting on isn't even comfortable; I feel like I'm being sucked in like Johnny Depp from Nightmare on Elm St. Not to mention Dr. Tom's mouth as that weird white stuff in the corners like he just woke up from his afternoon nap and he forgot to drink something before I came in. I knew this was a bad idea.
"Drew. He's talking to you."
"Do I have to answer?"
Dr. Tom smiles but it's not a comforting smile. It's one of those smiles that means he hopes for the best but he knows nothing good is going to come of this...which means nothing good ever comes of this which means I'm wasting my time and this was a big mistake. I don't need "photo-therapy."
The first picture is my mom's car, Lady.
I answer quickly with, "Racist."
"Lady is not racist."
"Yes she is."
"She liked me."
"That's because she's racist against white people."
"She likes your mom."
"My mom's even more racist than she is."
"Is that why you never dated a white girl?"
"Who said I never dated a white girl?"
"I was just assuming because of all the-"
He lifts up another picture and it's a still frame from a video I took a while back of birds suddenly flying while I was in the middle of trying to take a picture of Sally.
I answer, "Cold."
"It was cold that day. And you were such a gentleman, you gave me your jacket."
"Yeah but I had to ask for it back."
"It was still a sweet gesture. It was the first time you put your arm around my shoulders."
"No. I put my arm around your shoulders at the movies."
"That was around my chair."
The next one is a picture of a flower and for a second I'm confused because it looks like he googled 'flower' and printed the first picture that came up. But when I inspect a little closer I see there's a tan hand holding the stem with a silver band around the ring finger. It's Sally's hand, holding the generic flower. It's an extreme close up of the singular item and I find it so weird that he would pick that flower to focus on. There was so much going on in that picture. She was wearing that nice pink dress and that red shade of lipstick that made her lips pop out and she wasn't smiling. She looked like she was annoyed but she still held the flower for me.
"I can't think of anything."
"What's the first thing that came to mind when you saw the picture, Drew?"
"It looks like you copied that picture from the internet."
"You don't remember this picture, Drew?"
"It's your facebook profile picture."
"I told you to take it down and to put one of both of us."
"It is a picture of both of us."
"Your finger at the corner of the lense doesn't count as you being in the picture."
"Yes it does."
"Answer the man."
"I'm pretty sure my facebook profile picture isn't of a flower."
"Don't lie to him. You said you would be honest."
"I am being honest."
"Touche'. What do you think of when you see this?"
He pulls up a picture of hands clasped together and instantly I know it's ours. I even know the immediate comments under the picture. The first one was from my friend Jewl who said 'This looks like a caramel sundae.' and bellow my other friend Rich saying, 'That's racist.' I think it's weird that's gone through all of my facebook to get these pictures. He should have asked first.
"You agreed to this when you signed your signature at the bottom of the release form."
"I didn't look at the small print, that's your job."
"I forgot to do it this time."
"You always do."
He moves to the next picture but before I look at it I snatch it from his hands and slam it onto the coffee table bewteen us. He jumps and I jump too because it made a louder noise than I thought it would make and also because I think I gave him a paper cut. I didn't mean to be that cruel about it but I can't stop now.
"I mean I'm tired of this. I mean I want to go home."
"But the session just began, Drew. You have another hour left before we are finished for today."
He looks sad, like he's upset I'm going to leave him like he doesn't have any friends. But how is that my problem? He looks like an okay kind of guy. He's not that old, I'm sure most of his friends from college are still alive, why doesn't he call one of them?
"I know. But I'm going to go home now and go to sleep."
"Your mother says you don't sleep."
"So, my mother talks to you now?"
"Does that upset you?"
Does that upset me? He asks this question with this weird squint like he's reaching me or like he's cracking some secret code I have going on. He asks this question like I'm going to go ballistic on him or something for suggesting I have feelings and emotions. I have feelings and emotions. Just because I don't express them doesn't mean I don't feel them. Does that upset me? It's not like I own him. Like I have possession over the guy, he can talk to who ever he wants to talk to. I'm not his keeper.
"I'm going home now."
"You don't have to be so mean, Drew."
"Good bye, Dr. Tom."
I say as I stand up and reach for my coat that I left hanging on the side of the couch.
"I thought you said today was a good day, Drew. I thought you said you were ready when you woke up this morning."
I don't answer him.