The Madhouse, Really?
Two days after my blackout, I landed in the office of my therapist of the time, Penelope Eagle-Eye, with a bruised face. “Benedetta, what shall we do for you today?” Penelope Eagle-Eye asked cheerfully. I answered by imitating a young Tom Waits singing “Virginia Avenue.” I had too many troubles and nobody to tell them to. What was a poor girl to do?
“I’m sorry. I can’t quite follow you,” said Penelope Eagle-Eye upon completion of my little show, handing a few coins over to me. Some say that yesterday’s great poets have become today’s singers. Or they became therapists and psychiatrists. Who knows.
“I’m definitively channeling David Copperfield’s spirit in the twilight. I’m being instructed to become an illusionist,” I eventually added.
“When is the last time that you had a proper night’s sleep?”
“Who needs sleep when the world is so abundant and providing with so many little miracles? Sleep is overrated. Seriously.”
“What do you see?”
“Unnecessary to ask you whether you have been taking your medication properly, I suppose. So, what I see,” stated Penelope Eagle-Eye with emphasis, “is that you should consider additional psychological support in these challenging times. As your therapist, I recommend that before reaching Columbus Avenue, Las Vegas, or any other destination, you make a stop at Hôpital des Acacias on our own Churchill Avenue. I was told they have an old jukebox in the cafeteria, and I’m sure we can find you some David Copperfield cups and bed sheets.”
The madhouse. Really? A bloody good return on investment on the 1,612 hours of therapy and four therapists I had consumed over the past fourteen years. Maybe the psychiatric option should have been considered right from the beginning instead of making me believe that I would be just fine. “I’m sorry, but I won’t go to the madhouse. Never. No way.” This was the last time I saw Penelope Eagle-Eye. I liked songs better. The next day I showed up triumphantly at work. Attempting to cheer myself up and to convince myself that I could just do it – I had a reputation of being a super-achiever in my own right – I dressed in a short canary-yellow dress, the striking effect of which I enhanced with black stilettos and a thick layer of scarlet lipstick.
From Shaman Express, Beretta Rousseau, 2018, Chapter 1 "Alive"
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
Shaman Express by Beretta Rousseau (2018) is available for purchase online.