I mention insomnia to the spychiatrist. Insomnia, I say.
“Insomnia?” she queries, loquacious as ever.
The Yes of my reply doesn’t seem to take the conversation further, so I elaborate, explaining that I have a problem with insomnia.
“Problem?” she counters.
Once again, I feel that the spychiatrist isn’t really committing to exploring the dynamic potential of conversation and I resolve to tell her so.
“No need,” she says, “seeing as you just said that interior monologue out loud.”
There is a pause like the pause before something about to start again.
“What is your problem with insomnia?” she asks.
I tell the spychiatrist that my problem is that I enjoy insomnia and I go on to say how I expect that everybody else comes into her room endlessly bitching about how absolutely shit it is to suffer from anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, or whatever, whilst not seeing these things as the blessings which they really are. You just have to open your eyes and your heart, I conclude.
“Ah,” says the spychiatrist, “you’ve been trolling the Dalai Lama’s twitter-feed again.”
I ignore her remark on the grounds that it is not spychiatrist-y enough and explain how, that morning, I had gone outside at 4.37 a.m. and been struck by the variety of birdsong but the apparent absence of birds.
“Perhaps it was a recording of birdsong,” she suggests.
I had not thought of this. However, I press ahead, telling her that as I scanned the trees for signs of birds, it occurred to me that, as I could see plenty of trees but no birds, maybe it was the trees who were singing and not the birds. As I listened to the singing, I tried to match the different trilling refrains to the different trees.
I look at my spychiatrist to gauge her reaction, but she is not there as it is three o’clock in the morning and I am sitting outside in my garden waiting for the trees to start singing again.
Mindful of her last suggestion, I spend the next hour and thirty-seven minutes trying to locate the speakers.