It’s New Year’s Eve 3:50 PM.
I just finished my last session of this year and resume again on January second of next year. In our last session, my shrink and I talked about my New Year’s resolutions.
I think a lot about my resolutions. I want resolutions I can keep. You know – practical achievable goals. I want to do what my shrink advises. He told me:
Jason, you need successes, not failures. Given your demeanor, I suggest you make resolutions that are manageable. Don’t set yourself up for more failure. Your path to success must be walked one step at a time. It’s a long path.
He said that to me at 3:20 PM during my last session. I sat there looking at him then at the floor, alternating back-and-forth. The remaining thirty minutes of our fifty minute session passed in silence.
I think that’s a rip-off. After he makes one of his pronouncements or asks a question, if I don’t respond, he just sits there. With that look.
You know, the look – the Jason, it’s your turn now look.
And there’s that thing he does with his fingers. When he clams up after one of his smirky statements, he clasps his fingers together like we used to do when we were seven years old. He makes that little steeple thing. Like he’s some kind of religious church praying guy. As he waits, he tips his finger-steeple toward his purplely lips touching the tip of his hairy nostrils.
I wonder if he knows I can see the nose hairs that grow from his nose like the Jack-in-the-beanstalk vine. What a rip-off.
Here’s another thing I hate about this guy. I don’t get a full sixty minutes. A full hour for the outrageous fee he charges me. I’ve done this every other day for sixteen years and his price has gone up almost every year since I started.
So, we sit and stare.
The guy’s amazing. It’s like he doesn’t even breathe. We look at each other.
I’m always the first to blink.
Then I squirm a little.
Squeeze and release my butt cheeks rapidly to get some feeling back in them. My fat ass aches and burns – feels like it’s glued to the wooden seat of the chair.
Why don’t I ever choose the couch? At least I’d be comfortable while my fifty minutes pass.
I look at him and I realize that in sixteen years he hasn’t aged a day.
I hear the “ping-ping” of his fifteen thousand dollar Tag Heuer. He drops his hands, clears his throat, and closes his notebook. It’s his sign that our session’s over. I wish I could say, “Thanks, doc. I feel a lot better after our little talks.”
But I can’t and don’t. I get up, walk out the door.
Later in the privacy of my bacon cheeseburger and Cheetos reeking studio hovel, I write out my resolutions.
Next year I, Jason Mariana, resolve to:
Not slit my shrink’s throat.
Cut down on the number of times I use my favorite expletive – instead of totally dropping it from my favorite’s list. You know, quit blurting it out like I’m a Tourettes’ sufferer.
Lose only twenty pounds, instead of the sixty I need to lose.
Once a week, instead of every day, call my mom and listen to her whine over the phone about how life has screwed her.
This shouldn’t be too hard. I can keep these. Practical and manageable just like “Dr. Fruedin-schtein,” that’s what I call him, advises. He’ll be happy, too. We’re meeting tomorrow afternoon at two PM.
It’s 2:08 and I’ve just finished reading my New Year’s Resolutions.
The doc’s expression doesn’t change as he looks at me and asks, “Do you actually think you can keep these resolutions? I must say, Jason, I’m surprised at the first one. Do I detect a trace of hostility with regard to your first resolution? We work hard to keep your hostility in check, Jason – in control. Yes, I’m surprised.”
It’s 2:15 and now I’m standing here with blood on my hands. Fruedin-schtein’s flat on his back on his precious Karistan – twitching, bleeding out. Throat slit from ear to ear. I’d have to say that he did have a look of surprise on his face.
Fuck. Guess since I’ve already fucking blown number one on my fucking list, I really fucking don’t have to fucking worry about how many fucking times I use my favorite fucking expletive this fucking year.
I dial mom for the second time today.
As her phone rings I mutter, “Fuck the twenty pounds, and empty the Hershey’s Kisses from the dish on Fruedin-schtein’s desk into my jacket pocket.
As I open the office door I look down at him. He really hasn’t aged a day.