Dr. Schadenfreude sat in front of his laptop. Looking at me. Saying nothing. Waiting for me to spew some crazy.
I decided to wait him out, while staring at his shoes, of course.
Finally, he blinked first. “How are your meetings with God going?”
“My FICTIONAL meetings with God? All okay, thanks.”
He looked over his glasses at me. “Your writing is very convincing. It could convince me that you really are having all these conversations.”
I tried not to protest too loudly. “I’m a professional writer. Convincing is my thing.”
He waited. He always does. I could wait too.
Until I couldn’t anymore. “Do you think it’s too early for me to be dating? I’ve read that I should wait until we’ve been separated a year, but I’d really like to get out there and find somebody new. The motivation of being happy with someone one day is what helped me decide to separate – well, that and being married to a woman with questionable morals. Should I be dating yet?” Well, hello Monsieur Blurtz – so much for not talking.
Dr. Schadenfreude looked over the top of his laptop. “Do YOU think it’s too early to date?”
Fuck! Maddening bastard! I should have known he would answer with a question. Now what’n hell do I say? “Well, every time a date ends, I feel depressed and lonely.”
The doctor put on his puzzled face. “And why do you think that is?”
“I don’t know.”
Locked back onto his shoes. One of the laces looked ready to break. Should I tell him, or would that be breaking through the safe fourth wall of our professional relationship?
Finally I had to speak. “I think I’m angry with Brenda. I’m angry that I’m back out on the dating scene. Then I’m also angry that I wasn’t out on it years sooner.”
Puzzled look again. “Those two things almost conflict. Why are you angry about both?”
At last, an easy question. “When I married, I just assumed it was forever, so I didn’t want to separate, but I felt like it was the only option at this point. Also, looking back, I’m not sure she ever gave a shit about me, so I’m pissed that she didn’t throw me on the heap back when I was young and hot.”
“Are you also a little pissed at yourself for not leaving earlier?”
“Well, of course I am. I mean, I got two great kids out of the deal, but other than that it sucks. I feel like I’m starting my adult life from scratch again. If I had left years ago – when I first thought of it – there would have been a possibility of a much happier married life now.”
“And you feel like you’re starting at a disadvantage now?”
“I just feel like I’m running out of time, I guess.”
He waited while I stared at his shoes some more. “How much have you been drinking lately?”
I didn’t look up. “Sometimes a glass of wine with dinner.”
“That’s good. You’re on a lot of meds, and alcohol is a depressant, so you shouldn’t have any more than that.”
Luckily, I happen to know there is no Hell for liars. But just in case, I made a mental note to buy larger wine glasses.