After eight back-to-back appointments, I’m taking an hour before my final one. Mid-focaccia sandwich bite, the tomato juices run over my taste buds, and as they do, they jam their poles in and vault to the highest height. What I’m saying is it’s good. And what I’m also saying is I’m watching high school track and field practice while eating in my car.
I doled out extras provisions of self-help to someone new in session today, “Please call if you’re needing support.” Their usual behavior pattern scares them; after a bomb goes off in their life, spontaneously combusting usually comes next.
The worst part of my job is heading into hell, to the swamplands, to the locked rooms of people’s minds. Worst because I don’t always know if we will make it out alive together. All the tools, education, and experience one has doesn’t mean shit when the room’s air is swallowed whole, the candles are suffocated, and more present are the beasts, demons, and boogeymen.
Eventually, we’ll retreat to safety, and if I’ve done my job well, we won’t be too weakened to not return.
Because I don’t know how to quit. I can’t.
So I collect batteries for headlamps and flashlights. I bring lovely music and pictures of loved ones. We will hold hands and recruit others to hold ours. We must. The darkness will not prevail.