I sat down across from Dr. Schadenfreude. I was prepared for the familiar short bursts of talk, followed by long uncomfortable silences where I just didn’t know what to say.
I started with the usual topics of how things were going in my current life. I told him how more people at the open stage were asking me to accompany them on the mandolin or banjo sometimes – and how that was an awfully nice thing for them to do.
“And what do you read from the fact that people want you to play with them?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe I’m not quite as shitty as I’ve always thought?”
“Let me ask you a question: If you were looking for accompaniment, would you ask a shitty musician?”
I thought about it. “Well no, but I had always just assumed they were being polite.”
He continued. “So you must be a decent player. Next question: If there were somebody there who was an excellent player, but a real jerk, would you ask that person to accompany you?”
Hey! Maybe I’m an okay player, and maybe people don’t hate me. That’s pretty cool. Not sure what to do with that information, but I like it. I gave the most intelligent response I could under the circumstances. “Hmm.”
The good doctor let me roll that around in my brain for a minute (while I was meditating on the salt patterns on his shoes) before deciding to steer things a little. “We haven’t really dug into how you’re feeling about your marriage lately.”
“Well, besides the obvious problem, I’ve decided she just wasn’t nice to me.”
Dr. Schadenfreude put on his professional puzzled face. “Really? And why do you think that is?”
And that was all I needed. If I could be said to have a favourite topic, this is it. The doctor was madly typing to keep up.
And before I knew it: “Okay, it’s time to wrap up for today.”
Seriously? The whole 45-minute appointment is already over? I hardly even took a chance to breathe. I mean, I know I have a lot of issues with what I would someday refer to as “my first marriage” (or does that have to wait until there is a second one?) but who would’ve thought I could talk non-stop for a whole session.
Two options for tonight: I need to make some music, or drink some goat piss. Or if the stars would align correctly, I would find a way to do both, praise God.