The Back Room

With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.

An Old Friend Visits the Room

A scene from Fight Club. Source:

A scene from Fight Club. Photo Source:

I need to be back in therapy.  There are too many things I’m trying to work out and pieces are simply not being picked up.

Sickness.  That’s wot it is.

No.  It’s not sickness.

The cursor blinked intensifying Andrew’s ire.  He chewed on the ring fingered nail of his right hand.  The one that just healed.  He placed a finger to his temple, caressing the pulsating ripple.  70’s soul played in the background.  Certainly Stevie, Marvin and EW&F would not let him down.  He sighed deeply seeing the clock in the corner of the screen.  She would be home soon.  And as usual he would have nothing written.

Well.  Not nothing.  Even a minor insubstantial piece on why he couldn’t write could be turned into a blog.  A blog to be read by a handful of people and soon forgotten.

That wasn’t what he wanted.  No.  He wanted a book.

You wrote a book.

Yes.  I wrote a book.  Thank you.  Yes.  A book self-published without proper editing.  I love reading what I wrote but I can see the flaws.

Oh, please.  You’ve read interviews with authors who detest their books, books you adored.  That isn’t why you can’t write.

Andrew smeared a hand over his face and took a swig from his bottle of beer.

Okay.  I’ll bite.  Why can’t I write?

The missing piece.  It continues to elude you.

The missing piece.  To Andrew it was like the key to happiness.  Oh, you mean like a baby?  No, Mom, not like a baby.  It has to do with my writing and I cannot unlock it.

For sure, I’m a part of it.  More than your Mom.

Yes, Andrew said, pushing out the words like held air.  You are a big part of it.  So much so, I may need to write through you to get to the other side.

The other side?  Those words aren’t yours.  That’s from that disturbing Ghost Whisperer show you caught this morning while conducting “therapy”.

You’re really a jerk.  You know my head is full and I take great pains to clear it so I can be available for my patients.  And remember, because that show was on, I was able to engage him on the issue of mortality and what happens after.  It was one of our better sessions.

Actually, that was pretty good just then.  You took a response full of excuses and had enough clarity to recall the productive session.  But, c’mon, your inability to write, psychotherapy is also a factor.

Andrew tapped his forehead.  There was truth in those words.  Maybe too much truth to take on right now.  The Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes” opened his senses a little more.  Or it was the beer.

The missing piece involving his chosen profession?  As the path less traveled perhaps?  Currently his job provided a great deal of flexibility, enough to spend a few hours every day writing.

Something you’re not doing.

The missing piece?

Maybe.  More than likely it’s laziness.

Maybe fear?

Fear.  Ah, yes.  Your catch-all excuse for not living the life you want.  Pray tell what scares you about having several hours of free time every day to write only to squander it in less than savory ways.

Less than savory ways.  You make me sound like some kind of deviant.

Andrew sighed.  Uh-oh.  This was also part of the missing piece.  Not the deviant part, but there was a secret side, a dark side… a pause in his own humanity-

You didn’t name your blog The Back Room for innocent reasons.  Unless innocent means freedom from judgment.

Andrew’s finger started to throb.  The one with the nail, bitten too far down.  “Brick House” came on.  He pinched the sides of the finger while swinging his shoulders.  Another glance at the clock.  Her call would be coming momentarily.

Yes.  Her.  She’s a part of it as well.  Obviously.  Without her there is no discussion on completion.  It’s her presence, her love that makes you recognize something’s missing.

I know.  Before her, everything was missing.  Marriage truly gave me the freedom to be restless.

Not a bad place to be.  Just remember the lack and don’t get too complacent.


Andrew sat in his chair thinking about what to write.


4 comments on “An Old Friend Visits the Room

  1. writerinsoul
    May 25, 2015

    This was interesting the way you wrote this. I feel for your frustration, but have to say this is indeed *writing.*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew Davis
      May 25, 2015

      I’ve always been hard on myself. And rather than push myself past the insecurities I have instead knuckled under. This is indeed “writing” but I am still adrift. The last several blog posts have been more imaginary conversational, how I wrote in high school. I desire feedback but never ask for it, so another voice provides it instead. Thank you for your generous words, Colette.

      Liked by 1 person

      • writerinsoul
        May 27, 2015

        I know a thing or two about being hard on one’s self. But here in midlife, I’m tired of it and have made strides. Give yourself some credit for having a blog. It *is* writing and it is connecting too. I think a lot of people have that inner answering voice who takes no prisoners.


      • Andrew Davis
        May 28, 2015

        Thank you for the kind words. We never know how that connection will manifest itself in the future. I try not think of my present situation as mid-life. A lot of time has passed but I am excited for my present. Outside of the 20 year plan my wife and I devised, I don’t think about the future. My inner voice is a fellow traveler, good or bad, it’s there.

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 15, 2015 by in Reflections, Writing and tagged , , , .

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