"It's been a while, Stephanie, since you've tried to contact me. You look well."
We are 2015. We are video chat. We are doctor and patient. Expert and needy. Composed and disaster.
I smile and run my fingers through my hair. Scrunch my nose. Smirk.
"And your ticks are improving!" She says. Proud. And concerned.
"Yea. You know. Being back near the ocean has been so good for me. I can't even explain. I can't even really comprehend it. I don't really believe I am here. It feels like I never left! But like I've been gone a million years at the same time... it's..." I trail off. Looking away. Lips moving. No sound.
"So, Stephanie. I have to say, I didn't think I'd hear from you again. Not after the whole...well...meltdown I guess. You know what I mean. I'm glad however, I enjoy our chats. How are you handling things?"
I stand up and sit back down. Look at her and sigh.
Her eyes get big. She bites her bottom lip. Writes something down. Tilts her head to the side and frowns.
"It's ok. I'm ok. It's been so good actually! I mean. We have talked just a few times on the phone now. All provoked by him. I am too scared. And it's so good. There is no emotionally heavy stuff. There is nothing intense. It's just conversations like we used to have when we used to just...talk...I missed it. I let the pressure off and my whole...it's ok. I'm ok."
She scratches her head and writes something else down.
"The last time we talked you were a day off of throwing coffee..."
"I poured it on the floor. I didn't throw it."
"...pouring coffee on the floor of a very big meeting. You said some choice words, stormed out. And really well..."
"I self sabotaged a potentially life changing opportunity because I was a mess. And I am ok with that. I told you that the last time we talked. I didn't really want it. At least not with those people. Not with people who were treating me like gerbil and poking at me with 'information' for a product I didn't love."
I'm getting upset. She can tell. Her whole body has changed it's demeanor. I'm tugging and blinking and cracking knuckles. Looking up and back and up and back and.
"So, what now? Now that he has called, what happens now?"
I smirk and roll my eyes.
"Nothing. You know that. I keep doing what I'm doing. Actually I should be doing less. And that's it."
"You're not telling your whole feeling."
"I'm not. Don't you believe in jinx's, doctor lady?" I laugh. So does she. She writes something else down.
"Let me guess 'patient exhibits delusions'?" She laughs again.
I twist my hair into a knot on the top of my head and twirl my necklace.
"How are the essays? I keep up with the blog. You're all poems now! I miss those essays. Do you know yet if he has read your works?"
This makes me laugh. Really hard. I snort. I laugh harder. Drink some water and sigh.
"You read my blog!? I don't think I knew that! I don't even read it. I write most of the crap on there on my phone while usually lost in target or on a walk. No one checks my stats anymore except me when I need confirmation. Um...does he read it...my guess would be no. It's not his style. If he does he's probably confused. Do you know that quote "I have nothing to offer anybody but my own confusion."? Kerouac. That's me. Charming."
She chuckles and rolls her eyes at me.
"Do you worry if he did read it, he might stop calling? You were concerned about this when you sent the piece of work to him and then he went dark..."
Even she is trailing off.
We both know it doesn't matter.
We both know we can't control him.
We both sat and cried when I turned this whole thing into an analogy about me petting a dog. And she just wanted to "see me win."
"Well, Stephanie. Do you think you'll video me in again?"
I smile. I shake my head.
"I don't know. I have no plan for anything except to make everyday at least an 8 out of 10."
"Fair enough, fair enough."
I never gave up.
Just so you know.
I was always where I said I'd be.
Nothings changes except for all of it.
Add the time.
This is me, backing off.
This is me, signing off, per usual.
Until next time.