Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Spooner's Cove

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I want you to be happy. I really do.

I used to have this recurring fantasy that I had the power to look into people's brains and see where their wiring was fucked up. I imagined looking in, diagnosing the problem, then reaching in and untwisting the crossed wires, plugging them in to the right places, bypassing the really burned up relays and tangled masses. Not so the person would be some kind of perfect, but so they would run the way they were designed to. And in my imagination it was always a rough fix, a patch-up job. Get things running again, a lot smoother, a lot more efficiently, but not turning a Pinto into a Porche or anything. Just enough so they could drive to work and back, get some groceries, not throw lit road flares into their beds. Maybe fall in love.

I have been thinking about getting out of the cop game and going into the head-shrinking game. I suppose it would be much harder and much less effective than my imaginary re-wiring game, but lately I've been feeling more and more like I would love to just sit down across from someone and listen to them and empathize with them and just sort of help nudge them along into a less painful way of being.

I probably shouldn't say anything about it.

One of the things that happened to me after about five years of being a cop is that my empathy juice ran dry. I really did see everyone as stupid and mean and greedy. Worthless shitbags, assholes, idiots, ass-kissers, or predatory monsters. And I respected the predatory monsters most out of the whole collection. At least they were going after what they wanted. At least they took on the world and didn't bitch when they went down swinging. After a while I was able to fly into sudden, violent rages at my wife and daughter when they did stupid shit like turn up the sound on the TV, or turn it down. Or leave the lights on in the bathroom. Good reasons like that. I mean, come on. They had it coming.

I came back from that brink without actually hitting anyone or eating my gun but it was a long, uphill slog.

Okay, I'm still slogging. But I'm mostly there.

After a couple of years I got unfucked and now things are much better. I don't know how realistic this idea is, but I don't much care, either. I'm going to school anyway and this gives me something concrete to focus on. Even if it takes me ten more years, that's cool. I could do it as a retirement gig. But if I could put up a shingle right now, I would.

Okay. Confession time's over. Go back to yr life.

I mean it though. I want you to be happy.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

scott, my own very personal, perhaps even selfish take on this is that the world needs a lot more cops who can sit and listen and empathize than any number of well-intentioned shrinks, most of whom, like monks, like lawyers and judges and jesus freaks, would rather sit back and watch the human carnival than engage it directly.

hey, did you think it would be painless? and next time you imagine yourself hotwiring somebody's fucked-up brain, try to understand, you've got a double out there somewhere, doing the same to you.

nobody gets away free, scott. you know that better than anybody. and no matter what career you settle on finally, you young whippersnapper, we all end up the same, ultimately, drooling in a wheelchair and sitting in our own excrement.

i want you to be happy, too, and right now, i've got you wired up pretty good, i think. in fact, you've turned out so well, i've been considering going into this brain work full-time. looking around now for somebody to carve me an original type shingle, something that kinda says between the lines how damn great i am when i'm really in there watching those sparks leap up like cataracts of fire way out over the distant mountains.

love, jim

6:17 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Shrinkage -- I was a therapist for about ten years. I'm sort of burnt out now. I think I took it all too personally, but it really is thrilling most of the time, and it's so great when someone's life starts turning around, even in the littlest way, and you had a part in that.

11:07 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I dunno, man. I think you fucked up in the parietal lobe a little bit...I think that's why everything tastes like peaches to me now. And everyone looks like Kate Moss for some reason...


I imagine it must suck after a while. Like everything.



12:32 PM  

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