‘Open your mind,’ the Therapist said,
‘let’s see what’s in there.’
It was a struggle at first.
It was meant to be like opening a book,
but felt more like opening a walnut,
without fingers or thumbs.
Then she asked about my childhood.
And my skull opened up.
Just like that.
And out I hurdled. 5′ 8″ and eleven years old,
clutching a paper bag
of coconut macaroons.
And the therapist didn’t bat an eyelid.
And when my mum followed,
dark circles around her eyes,
in her dressing gown,
tripping over my cranium,
the therapist looked positively sleepy.
It was only then, when,
following my mother’s clumsy entrance,
my nan emerged like a jack in a box,
shouting obscenities about my dad,
screaming: ‘I told you you should’ve married that doctor!’
to my mum, who was on her knees
at the foot of the therapist’s chair,
asking for something, anything,
to help her sleep,
that the therapist checked her watch and said,
‘We’ll leave it there for now.’
And when my skull began to close
with five of us still in the room,
and me, mouth agape,
but filling up with macaroons
from my eleven year old self,
unable to speak,
‘But where is this lot supposed to go?’
I got the distinct feeling,
from the look of confusion
on everybody’s face,
that nobody really knew the answer.