I was just recently (as recent as three minutes ago) imagining a zipper, figuring in my mind exactly how it works, and thinking how proud a man Mr. Y.K.K. must really be for having the curve on such a broad market. Meanwhile, coincidentally, "Come Together" shuffles its way into the iPod mix and releases over my micro computer speakers.
I once had a friend who thought that YKK was really KKY, her exact initials (her name being Kristina Kay Yordy). I didn't know whether to think that she was dyslexic or a hopeful and wildly creative dreamer.
Mr. Youseff Karl Kurzenhoff
Mr. Yoshi Kaden Kirkland
I can't even think of more names than that.
In truth, YKK stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki and is a Japanese corporation working not only in the fasteners industry but also in machinery, engineering, and architecture.
That's what I was mumbling to myself internally as I fidgeted with the zipper on the ugly sweater this past Wednesday morning.
I had showed up 10 minutes late.
The office was offensively lit with fluorescent bulbs and shook me from the very start. These sorts of offices are supposed to be dimly lit with dark and heavy wood furnishings, perhaps one of those dark green desk lamps with the little gold pull chain.
There were books, "Anger as your Ally" and "Reclaiming Surrendered Ground", lining white ikea bookshelves along the far wall. Simple, ivory ceiling tiles loomed overhead and three or four meaning-to-look-important-but-not-really-doing-a-great-job-of-it degress and certificates hung on the wall behind me, all framed in $2 plastic certificate frames from Target; one of which was taped together at the corners, hoping desperately that no one would notice its disability.
The couch appeared old and well-used, like it had been moved from the doctor's semi-finished basement in an excited effort to set up her office quickly and make patients feel "at home".
We don't have pink, green, and yellow watercolor flowers on our couch at home. Thanks for the effort though.
The doctor, Charlotte, didn't seem to notice my immediate uncomfortableness. She sat in her chair, legal notepad in her lap and pen poised above it. She didn't look at me, she just waited for me to speak.
A solid three minute passed before I said anything at all. I didn't really trust her. And she was mildly unattractive - forgive my shallow soul for saying so, but she really was.
When I did finally begin to speak, I managed to avoid looking at her the entire duration. I stayed focused on the plaque on the wall, the one with portions of Psalm 119 enscribed on it, or I stared at the picture of her and her minister husband on the desk behind her. I couldn't look her in the eye or else I would start to cry, and there was no way I was going to cry to this woman - especially if I didn't even particularly like her.
All the same, however, I bore my soul (nearly all of it) to her and all with a frail and shakey voice that was at the very precipice of breaking and her response was everthing that every fiber of my body, mind and soul was fearing, the entire reason that I had avoided making an appointment in the first place. Her response shook me and nearly made me stand up and walk out the door at that very moment.
"Have you prayed then, and asked God for forgiveness?"
I don't think I have ever in my life felt more secluded and misunderstood and positively kicked to the side of the road as I did right at that moment. It took every ounce of strength I could muster right then not to cry, not to show a weakness that might be misinterpreted (since clearly that's what this woman is all about: misinterpretation).
I told her of the craziness, of the desperation at times. I told her of the confusion and the desire for clarity - oh, such a desire for clarity!
I told her that some weeks I feel so empowered and strong. I feel on top of the world and as though I'm in control of my life and then other weeks I know that I can just climb into the Focus and drive to God knows where... jetsetting to 124 with a change of clothes and a pint of ice-cream...
It's like having a printer that sometimes, for no reason whatsoever, jams every single sheet of paper you feed through it. During those times it must be monitored every second, almost willing it (in a way) not to jam. During the other times though, the well-functioning times, you can leave the room and let that printer run and everything is just peachy keen.
Everything is just peachy keen.
She gave me homework (bless her heart).
"Two things I want you to do this week: I want you to keep praying (!), and I want you to start making little decisions for yourself. If someone asks you where you want to eat or what movie you want to see, I want you to really really think about it. I want you to look into yourself and find out what it is that you really want to eat or which movie it is that you want to see."
I made the mistake of informing her that in major, life altering situations I have a difficult time saying no to people.
I'm not going back to see her. I'm not even really sure that she was the doctor to begin with. In fact, the possibility has no escaped my mind that she was simply the receptionist, called upon by the real doctor who phoned in sick that morning.
"Just stand in for me! Please?! She's a new patient, it will be really easy. Just tell her to pray a lot and stuff. She'll never know the difference."
Clap for the counselors. Give them a nice round of applause. They, afterall, appear to have the cloudiest vision of anyone and don't seem to have a single clue at all about it.
| Currently listening : |
If You're Feeling Sinister
By Belle & Sebastian
Release date: By 23 June, 1999