THE SCORPIO

 

 

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So you can’t remember the first

twelve years of your life?

NO Doctor, that’s NOT what I said.

But that was the impression you gave.

What I said was that I don’t remember

MOST of the first twelve years.

Well then, please tell me

what you do remember.

I remember family picnics;

not picnics with just the

immediate family but rather

family reunions.

Go on.

To be exact they weren’t really

family reunions either.

They were simply large family

gatherings.

You had a large family?

No. My immediate family

consisted of my mother, step-father

and me.

No sisters or brothers?

No.

And this extended family,

would you tell me more about it?

Yes, there were a few people from

Europe and all their children.

Uncles and Aunts from Europe?

Yes, I believe they said Macedonia

and Yugoslavia.

The children, your cousins?

All born here.

Were these family gatherings enjoyable?

Oh yes, they were great fun.

My cousins all gathered around me

and asked questions about what I

liked and wanted to do next.

So they had an interest in you?

I suppose so.

Why do you think that was?

They all followed the rules.

And?

And I didn’t.

So they considered your life

more exciting than theirs?

Obviously.

Did you like being the center

of attention at these gatherings?

Sure! Wouldn’t you?

Did your cousins always gather around

you at these family picnics?

They had no choice but to gather

around me.

That’s interesting.

Why do you say that?

Their lives were better than mine.

It would seem, then, that they would

not be interested in you.

I didn’t say that.

Please clarify for me

if you would.

I said their lives were better – – –

I knew it the minute

I met each one of them.

Their lives were

more stable – – –

and

more boring – – – .

Yes – continue on.

They were spoiled with attention.

They had no need to invent games

and ideas to keep themselves

entertained.

I see. That makes sense.

So I could control them by

simply suggesting some pastime

that they couldn’t think up

on their own.

And they didn’t seem to know

that you were controlling them?

They did not.

They were too self-centered.

They were too soft

too mushy

no guts.

What types of things did you convince

them to engage in?

At first it was hide and seek

then when I realized that the parents

never went behind the barn

we would experiment.

Experiment?

Yes Doctor – – – EXPERIMENT!

You know what I am saying.

Don’t tell me you didn’t experiment.

Let’s keep the conversation

about you.

Touch a nerve, did I?

Did you get caught – – – ‘experimenting?’

Not that anyone ever confronted me

about it – – – but I think they knew.

What would make you think they knew?

Oh, the uncles and aunts would say

“The children seem to be pulled

toward her.”

 

And then one would respond with

something like “She seems to be

so magnetic.”

 

Did you take offense to those comments?

 

Of course I did.

 

I had to work at being “magnetic.”

 

Did your mother join in these conversations?

 

Yes. She would say that I seemed

 

“determined” and “strong willed.”

 

And that I would become forceful if I

 didn’t get my way.

 

Did you feel loved by your mother?

Of course.

Don’t jump to any

rash conclusions

about my mother.

 

I was only attempting to determine the

relationship between you and your mother.

 

Your questions are becoming hurtful.

 

I think that is enough for today.

Same time and day next week?

Yeh. Sure.

 §

 

We talked a bit about

your family last time

you were here.

Yes.

Would you like to talk about

your father and step-father

today?

Well – I can tell you about

my step father but not much

about my father.

Let’s start there.

He is a good guy.

Takes good care of my mother.

And me when I lived at home.

No issues, no problems?

No. Just an average guy

trying to do his best.

And why can’t you tell me

about your father.

He was a bastard!

Was he mean to you?

No. He never showed up

until I was twelve.

And you resented that?

Yeh. Sure. Wouldn’t you?

Well I don’t know the circumstances.

I was fourteen when my grandfather died.

You were at a tender age.

But where does your father

fit into the picture?

He showed up at my grandfather’s

funeral with an eighteen year old

bimbo on his arm.

And that made you resentful?

I already answered that.

Why would you resent him for

finding a companion?

BECAUSE I WAS JEALOUS!

Jealous? Of what.

Of the fact that he had deserted me

and found a girl about my age.

But she wasn’t his daughter

she was his girlfriend.

So what? I was left behind.

And she had taken my place.

I see.

And you never got over

those feelings?

No. I never will.

Maybe we should work on that.

I have lived with it for forty years.

What do you think you can do

all of a sudden to change it now?

Well you are here because something

is bothering you.

Well, that is rather obvious now

isn’t it.

You have let yourself become

obsessed with this memory.

I haven’t let myself become obsessed.

IT obsessed ME.

We should work on it.

If not, your next problem

will be compulsive behavior.

COMPULSIVE?

Like what?

Like compulsive drinking,

sexual activity,

arranging and hoarding

things around your home.

Is perfectionism compulsive behavior?

Yes. To a small degree.

Well then, I am already a compulsive.

So we don’t have to work on that

any more do we?

It could get worse.

WORSE?

Yes, it could turn into

one of the compulsives

that I mentioned above.

Are there more behaviors like that?

Yes.

Like what?

Some people become compulsive with

cleaning and washing such as

ritualized showers,

tooth brushing,

cleaning silverware,

and such.

Well I am not there yet.

But then some people

have to check everything

multiple times, like door locks,

insuring the appliances and lights

have been turned off.

Nope, still not there yet.

And others become compulsive

about symmetry, re-arranging silverware

on the table, arranging things by color – – –

Oh-oh.

I’m there now!

Which one?

If I am out to dinner with someone

they always comment about me

re-arranging the tableware while

we are talking.

It sounds like the beginning.

So what do we do about it?

I would rather have the full hour

to get into this subject.

That bad – – – huh?

No – it seems to be a subject

that normally takes some time

to work through.

Humph.

Same time next week?

If you say so.

 §

 

Glad that you are a few minutes early.

Am I ever late?

No. It was my way of reminding you

that this compulsive behavior discussion

will take some time.

I told you I was a perfectionist.

I remember exactly what you said last time.

That is why I am here early.

Let’s get on with it then.

Have you ever had a discussion

with a friend or relative about

your father?

NO! It is none of their business.

It is my private thought

and bitter memory.

No one – – – other than you – – –

has a need to know about it.

You have kept this pent up

for quite some time,

haven’t you?

Yes. And that is the way it will stay.

You shouldn’t remain so

obstinate about keeping

it a secret.

“Suffer in silence” – – –

that’s my motto.

Well that secretive and

obstinate behavior is what

brought you here.

No. What brought me here was

my husband threatening me with

a divorce.

He must have seen something in you

that needed help.

You are starting to sound just like him.

Maybe he is right.

Maybe so.

Well, think about it.

Yeh, sure, OK.

Any other advice – – – Doctor?

Maybe just writing your secret down

on a sheet of paper will get you started.

Like a diary?

Not necessarily a daily thing.

More like a letter to yourself.

Like talking to myself?

I thought you were here to

help me with my problems,

not get new ones started.

 

It sometimes helps.

I have had other patients

that had great success by

writing down their private

thoughts.

I don’t think writing is my thing.

The secret is to put the letter away

for a few weeks and then come

back to it. Insights often pop out

as you read it. There is a degree of

separation between what you wrote

and what you read.

Nope. I don’t think that is going to work.

Have you thought about

talking to a priest?

Hell no! They don’t help.

And besides, that’s what

I’m paying you for.

I think we have made

some headway today.

Next week?

THAT’S IT?

That’s what?

I thought we were going to

discuss compulsive behavior.

Yes. However, I see that there

are other issues that we have to

deal with first.

Like what?

Like you being able to

face the truth.

The truth about what?

About your father.

I already told you the truth

about that bastard.

But you are still resentful and

obstinate about not looking the

past in the eye.

I am not sure I can accept

your advice any longer.

It is your choice.

You have to get these feelings

out in the open.

Easy for you to say.

I know it isn’t easy but

we can work through it

together.

We will see.

Next week?

Yeh, sure.

 

 

Next Week Never Came

 

© Waldo J. Tomosky

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About Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

I am proud of my work life (not the jobs, just the work).  Bait monger  Lawn mower  Paper boy  Windshield cleaner in a drive-in theater (if you don't know what a drive-in theater is there is no sense in you reading any farther)  Snack shack janitor in a drive in theater (ditto for drive-in theater)  Milling machine clean-up boy in a tool and die shop  Plastic injection press operator  Centurion in the US Army  Factory hand  Apprentice boy  Tool and die maker  Software user manual writer  Computer programmer  Ex-patriate par excellence  Engineering manager  Software test manager  Retiree  University administrator  System analyst  Retiree (2nd try)  Licensed amateur paleontologist  Retiree (3rd try)  Shovel bum (archaeology)  Retiree (4th try)  Delivery driver  Retiree (5th try)  Graduate student (skipped AA and BA due to the level of difficulty)  Retiree (finally got the drift of it) I have been writing for fourteen years and have fifteen books on Amazon/Kindle. Some horror, some twisted, some experimental, some essay and a few historical. I think that now I will really, really, really retire and just write. Lets see if I can do retirement correctly this time!
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