Bald Spot

In high school my psychotherapist called me a spoiled brat, and when he didn’t get a rise out of me, admitted he was trying to see what I would do after being insulted by an adult.

Don’t even get me started on projection, I thought, while I told him that I understood that even the most helpful of us sometimes need to entertain ourselves with the misery of others, comedy and erection addicts that we are,

but that I would make sure he’d no longer have the opportunity to stick his thinking into me and return to hiding at the way back of his subconsciousness cave.

Empathic young man that I was, I even said I realized that might be hard to hear, being the big, long-fingered man that he was, but that I’d ask to move on to a more honest psychotherapist who knows how to listen to others at least at the level of a kindergartener, or perhaps a mean older woman with a huge hat who’s been embarrassed by a younger one without a bald spot.

I remember returning to my bedroom in the psychiatric ward after that tank of a man raising his heavy cannon load of dogmatism. I remember picking up my guitar and practicing a few chords until my fingers couldn’t take it anymore, at which time I picked up my journal and began writing a spiritual I could sing without accompaniment until my guitar playing got good enough.

This song will put things right, I told myself, while I imagined a lion overlooking his big blue-sky territory, and for a while I think it did, the song I mean, though I couldn’t tell you how, other than to say that

after singing I felt a sense of empowerment and forgiveness I now know I wouldn’t have felt had I just landed another bossy psychotherapist, one that knew how to actively listen to me or not.

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