As I painted the inside of my… no, wait: I can’t paint. I made a mood collage using the words which I am no longer allowed to say, but this had no effect whatsoever, so I nailed seven balloons on to the surface of a bowl of uncooked rice. No explanation is required to explain the failure of this approach.
I disguised last night’s argument… wait: not yet. I practised nodding sagely so that the next time somebody uses an obscure word out of context, like semiotics, I would be able to disguise my discomfort by appearing like a well-practised, nodding sage. While I waited for that to happen, I disguised last night’s argument as a triumph for common sense. There. Timing.
I pondered whether or not I would be drawn into reminiscing about the bad old days with a recently deceased friend who had accidentally come to stay. This was dismissed.
Last night, I tried to discover if I was Welsh. By this morning, I had misplaced this notion and so was back to being, what: Spanish? I can’t even remember my own nationality now, let alone the precise location of my children.
It is time for my spychiatrist to make some sort of sense.
“Do you think that you have you been making much sense recently?” she asks. “For example, the last 206 words?” I explain to her that I always make sense to me, and that if other people are having difficulty making sense then they always have the option of exiting the page. Metaphorically, of course.
“But you can’t exit the page…” I am not sure if this is a question, an unfinished sentence, or a taunt. I interpret it as an unfinished sentence and complete it for her. Because, I say. Unfortunately, I have no idea why I can’t exit the page and so we are stuck, the spychiatrist and I, in the unspoken space of my own cognitive incompetence.
I ask her if it has anything to do with penguins. I am clutching at straws. Or maybe penguins.
There is another silence. It occupies the space between us, a bit like the unwanted laughter which escapes from your lips when you are told of someone’s untimely death... which is a sentence so flawed that it's difficult to know where to begin.
“Why do you think of me as your spychiatrist?” she asks, but I tell her that I have no idea what she is talking about and counter her question by asking her how she knows my thoughts.
“It rather helps that you tell me what they are,” she explains.
“Why do you think your attempts at avoiding depression failed?” my spychiatrist asks, finally making some sort of sense of the first 206 words.
But I am surprised that she has to even ask, and I rise to leave, feeling slightly guilty that I had to split an infinitive, even when not to have done so would have sounded unnatural. Even has to ask. Maybe it wouldn’t have sounded so forced after all.
I go home and burn all of my grammar books.