The Psychologist

 An author’s note:
These are the untrammeled thoughts, dark and deep, of my imagination. A kind of psychological sojourn into how I think and what I think to be true. It’s not light-hearted content, but its raw and hopefully will prove to be entertaining to ingest. Best served with black coffee.
The man spoke,
“I look around at the broken glass on the floor, the blood on my hands and the body which lay there crumpled and think little.
There is no thinking loud enough to silence a thundering heart. And yet, I still hear the question within myself somehow as I look at the scene before me.
What about the moments leading up to the action resulted in such death?
And who is it lying still before me?
I can feel it, like some threaded needle pulled until it escapes the eye, I can feel it my mind starting to break down.
The scene changes before me in an instant.
Now I am holding the hand of a child, she is mine to protect and to love.
We make our way up a hill in the sunlight and she runs ahead before me. Someone beautiful is atop the hill. She smiles widely and I am struck still. I stare at her while the child runs to her.
The sun is high above us.
I look down at my hands and the image reverts.
There again before me, lying on the floor is the body.
The walls, white are aged are darkened by time and the movement of life between them. Side one area of the wall which is splattered in the red signature of death.
I blink and fall to my knees in a heap before the body.
“Take me back to the sunlit hill! Far from this place!”
But there is no sunlight. Only the body before me.
My shoulders tremble and I advance upon the slain man to investigate.
“What have I done? Oh God what have I done?”
I walk toward him and stare at his face, and it is my face that I see. I shudder, scream, and wake up.”
Benjamin looked up from his notebook and glanced at his patient who, having just shared his dream let out a sigh. “Last week we spoke in great detail about your recent concerns.”
The patient nodded, “Yes.”
“Do you see any connection between those concerns and this dream?” he asked twirling his pen between his fingers.
The man brought a hand up to his face and sighed, “I don’t know. I can’t really see a connection.”
“The thing about dreams is that man likes to associate his recent memories with his dreams. He likes to interpret a dream relative to his recent experiences. It’s important though to come to an understanding of all of the potential meanings within each symbol that you see. Only then can the resolution of the dream be actualized.”
Benjamin filled a cup of coffee on the table, “Coffee?”
“Sure.” The man sat up in his seat and looked briefly at the time piece which rest on his wrist, “I don’t want to go over my limit.”
“You’re a friend Thomas. My wife will understand. Sugar?”
“No, I’ll take it black.”
Benjamin nodded and handed him the cup.
“Do you think there’s something to that – in the taking of coffee black?”
“I think you have poor taste, but I highly doubt there is some horrid shadow looming in your psyche demanding you take your coffee black.”
Benjamin smiled at him. It was the kind of smile that held him perfectly still in his being. It reinforced to him that no matter what was shared between them, Benjamin would always have faith in him.
Thomas grinned, “Yeah you’re probably right” and taking the cup of coffee from him returned to his seat; this time sitting upright.
“So, let’s start at the very beginning of this dream,” began Benjamin, “What was the first image that you remember seeing?”
“What is blood? Educate me.”
“Blood is life.”
“Or the signature of death, as you had mentioned.”
Thomas nodded, “Yes. It is a symbol of humanity and sacrifice.”
“And where did you see this symbol?”
“On my hands. It was everywhere on my hands.”
“What else was there?”
“And what is glass to you?”
“A window. The barrier between the outside world and the inside world.”
“And these panes were in what condition?” asked Benjamin.
“Shattered on the floor.”
“Tell it to me again…the beginning of your dream,” lead Benjamin.
“I somehow find myself in a room, familiar to me but I can’t place its exact location. On the floor is shattered glass and my hands are covered in blood. I stare at my hands for a while and then –“
“I find it interesting that the blood is on your hands. Are you guilty of some crime that you have not shared with me?”
Thomas grinned, “No. You know all of my sins.”
“Then why your hands – what do you do with your hands?”
“I feel. I play music with my hands…I create things, move things.”
“Do you feel as though you are guilty of something?” asked Benjamin clicking his pen and taking a note.
“No, I…well I know my faults.”
Benjamin smiled at him again, “Do you?”
Thomas shook his head with a grin, “Oh shove off it.”
“So you walk into a familiar room, noticing that the barrier between what is outside and in is shattered on the floor. Then you notice that on your hands, the instruments through which you feel the world, are coated in blood, coated in life and death. Sound about right?”
Thomas nodded. “Aye.”
“Carry on, what else is in that room?”
“My body.”
“Well it’s not your body yet though correct? We find that out at the end of the dream?”
“Yes, the body is on the floor.”
“What did it look like?”
“Crumpled up, balled up…like murder”
“And then what?” asked Benjamin.
“Then it suddenly changes.” Thomas let out a sigh of relief at saying this. Benjamin noted the sigh.
“How does it change?”
“It was like awakening into a different scene for a brief moment. Having that child, my child there with me.”
“And we both know you do not yet have children. So what does a child represent to you?”
“A child is the progression of the best qualities I could ever hope to give. Its new life, love.”
“And the hill, tell me about it.”
“It was a typical hill, steep.”
“And the woman atop it. Tell me about her.”
Thomas brought his hand above his head and pushed back his hair.
“She was lovely. I don’t remember her face, I just remember the feeling that came over me in the dream. Like being wrapped in an all-encompassing blanket of love just by looking at her.”
Benjamin’s lips pursed a bit in a grin and he wrote, “Romantic,” on his notepad. “And then what?”
“Then I was back it that hell hole of a room, staring at the murdered body and yeah…I approach it to find that it’s my face.”
“What do you make of it?”
“I don’t really know, that’s why I brought it up to you.”
Benjamin nodded, “I once read this book about a man lost at sea. Every morning he would pray to God for land and it didn’t come. Well, one day he stopped praying for the land and guess what happened?”
“It came?”
“No, a storm came and destroyed his ship.”
“That sounds like an awful book.”
“Well the story didn’t end there. Now the man was adrift without any resources, no sails, nothing. Just the wreckage of his vessel.”
“What kind of author would write something like that? About a man who drowns in seeking salvation…”
“One would expect him to drown. Indeed, one would expect that his prayers die out completely after the storm. But not this man. This man was different, instead his prayers changed. Instead he accepted the storm and smiled to the sky the morning after. He was grateful for having been able to live through the harrowing experience of the storm, even if it meant that he would most certainly die after it.”
“So then he drowned?”
“The author leaves that up to the reader. It was written that the man got weaker and weaker as a day or two passed.”
Thomas looked interested and Benjamin continued, “The man looked up on the last day, in the last paragraph of the book, and he smiled for he had washed ashore on paradise.”
“So he died?”
“If that’s how you interpret the narrative then yes, he died.”
“Why did you tell me that story?”
“You want to know what I make of your dream?” asked Benjamin setting his pen atop his pad of paper.
“The barrier of your expectations has been shattered, and you feel guilty about it for some reason. And that reason whatever it might be robs you of your paradise. It robs you of what you actually want in life. Because what you want you know. You see it and hold it in the hand of that child. You know it to be true in her smile atop the hill. And then, for some reason, you are cast back into your fears.”
Thomas nodded, “Perhaps you’re right. But what do we do about it?”
“Perhaps I’m wrong. That is how I see it, knowing you.”
“What do we do?”
“We identify your fears.”
Thomas looked at his watch. “Same time next week?”
Benjamin nodded, “What dreams may come?”

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