I wake up in a cold sweat practically screaming when I hear my phone ring, and instinctively push ignore. It takes me several minutes to remember I’m in the guest bed at my mother’s house again, and the person calling is my psychiatrist. I hear a nature program playing at a deafening volume in the living room. When he calls again, I answer in a scratchy voice.
“Hello!” He says, with mock irritation, “Rough night?”
“No—well, yeah, but not like you think. I forgot you were calling.”
I see Dr. Jonathan Tierny once a week. Under normal circumstances, we sit in a well lit room and have mostly meaningless conversations varying from neutral and friendly to tense and passive aggressive. He insists that I call him Jon. He looks young, barely older than me I’d say, but it could just be bookish goofiness that lends itself to the appearance of youth. He wears small gold framed glasses and basketball shoes. I asked him if he was a sports fanatic and he said no. They’re just the only shoes that fit him.
“What’d you get up to last night?” he asks.
“I went to a party. The important thing is, I stayed technically ’sober.’ Less importantly, I saw some tits, and a Damien mouth raped my face.”
“What’s a Damien?”
“I’m not really sure. I don’t know if it was a demon or a type of human being.”
“Well that sounds exciting.”
“I guess ‘exciting’ is a certain way of putting it.”