The Dr. Is In. -AJ Side Panel

Hello all. I am going to start posting some stories I have written over the years here in between my Lunch Break posts. I’m hoping to be consistent but if I’m not, please complain until I am.

I wrote this story after leaving a particularly heated Therapist appointment. I walked to the nearest coffee shop, sat down, and wrote like crazy. What you see below is a result of that. You may have seen the story in comic book form in our new volume of Forbidden Tales. This is what that is based on. I’ve included some images to refresh your memory. Enjoy!

-So, here is what I don’t understand.-He said.

He was sitting in the world’s most uncomfortable chair with a pillow on his lap. Obviously uncomfortable.

-Every 2 weeks I come in here, I sit down, and you ask me how I have been.  What follows has to be the most boring hour in the world to you because my responses are full of ‘oh you know the same, I hate people, I hate crowds, and I don’t want to leave my house blah blah blah’.  And your response is normally some plain droll answer of suggestions that we both know that I won’t do and advice that I won’t follow because I fail to see how it will help me out.  Why don’t you ask me about my past?  Why don’t we explore that?-

-Would you like to talk about your past? – She said, feigning interest.

-I don’t know!!!  Maybe?!? –

-Then why would I ask- she said

-Because, isn’t that your job?!- He asked, getting more and more agitated as the seconds ticked by.

-You are supposed to help me discover what is wrong with me.  You are supposed to guide me on a journey to recovery.  You are supposed to do something!

-No, what I’m supposed to do is help you achieve emotional well being.  We have talked about this before.  You know what you want out of these sessions, I don’t.  I can only assist you with goals that you have set.  I can’t set them for you.-


-Now, Tom, I need you to remain calm-

-CALM!  How the fuck am I supposed to remain calm.  You are basically blaming me for the lack of progress. 

Look, you are the therapist here.  You are the “guide” as you put it.  Now as I understand it a therapist is someone for you to unload on and in doing so feel some sort of relief in my mental instability.  Even if we don’t go on epic cerebral journeys we are still supposed to travel somewhere in my psyche.  All you do if fill me with platitudes and general advice that feels like, honestly, you want me to go on a trip but all you are going to do is hand me a generic road map to the country and tell me to call you in two weeks to update you with whatever national landmark I happen to be lost at.  How artificial is your practice anyway?-

-You take what you will from our visits.  If you feel you are not getting what you want from them maybe it would be better for you to find another therapist-

-SERIOUSLY?  Do you know how many “other” therapists I have been through?  Your entire office is filled with blank faced dry erase boards.  The only difference between them is the color of the marker. –  He paused.  He put his head in his hand, obviously frustrated but wanting not to lose his temper.

He took a deep breath and continued.

-Do you know why I sit in this particular chair?-

-Well, habit.  You sit there every session because it is a chair you are familiar with and find some comfort in.-

-Comfort?  No, there is no comfort in this chair.  I sit in this horribly, tiny, restricting chair because I feel safe in it.  It’s not familiar, it’s not habit, it’s safety.  Didn’t they teach you body language in whatever poor excuse for a school you went to?  Look at me.  I am wedged between the arms of this chair with a pillow on my lap that I grip on to for an hour.  This isn’t comfort, it’s the complete opposite.  See, I am not comfortable here and in this chair I can feel all four walls.  With this pillow I can deflect anything coming at me.  I sit in this chair because in this office I feel threatened, just like I do out there- he waved his arm outward.

-This is exactly what I am talking about.  You are supposed to be a mental detective weaving through my mind and past discovering clues and uncovering whatever it was that murdered my desire and ability to lead a normal life.  You are my Psychiatric version of Batman, or are supposed to be anyway.  Instead, your are the Gotham PD, just wandering with your dick in your hand while the Joker runs wild in my brain waiting for someone else to do your job for you.-

-Your analogy is fairly farfetched.  But I am not here to argue with you.  If you want to discuss your past then please do so.  I will make note of whatever you care to divulge and then after we can discuss some options for you.  You want to go on a journey, well then let’s travel, but you are the travel agent and I am just along for the ride.-

-And what a ride it is.  Look…let’s not kid each other here.  I sit in this chair for an hour once every 2 weeks.  We have done this for 4 sessions now and I feel that we aren’t making any progress…-

-Speaking of which- she interrupted.  Looking at her screen she started again -oh yes, there it is.  We are officially at the halfway mark in your sessions.  Only 4 more to go-


-Was this not explained to you?-

-Oh no.  I know all about your get well deadline.  That in itself is the most ironically insane thing I have ever heard of.  Of the many therapists that I have visited in this office, the one that that has been made abundantly clear is that my mental health is on a fixed timeline… know what, that’s it.  I am done for today.  I can’t deal with this right now…let’s just call it a day shall we.  I and finished with this farce for the time being.-

-Very well, if that’s what you want.-

-It is-

She looked at him for a moment and nodded in acknowledgment.  She pressed a button on her keyboard and the very bright white room faded in to darkness.

Immediately her eyes opened and she was laying in a construct of wire and tubes.  The headpiece raised up as the world came into focus.  She sat up as the orderlies attended to her.

-Well that could have gone better- said one

-He seems too resistant to change and yet hungers for it at the same time- she said while sitting up.

-You know what they say doc, you can lead a horse to water but it’s up to him if he wants to drink it-

-The world is full of colorful metaphors today isn’t it- the orderlies lifted her out of the bed and placed her onto her artificial torso.  All the gears and clamps whirred and whistled as the automatically adjusted to her.  Once the procedure was done she and the torso levitated in the air.

-Ready for the next patient Doc?-

-No.  No I think I have had enough mental drama for today thank you.  Please inform the warden to return the rest of the patients to their storage.  I will be in tomorrow to start again. –

-Very well Doc. – The lights that were projecting the orderly turned off and she was left in the room alone.  She reached over and grabbed her clipboard and floated to the door.  She made a notation and then shut off the lights before floating off into the hallway.