The Terror, Seriously by Catherine Davis

“I have a fear of becoming a bag lady,” I confess to my therapist. Embarrassed by the sound of my words in this walnut paneled library, two French doors to a balcony, I am thinking of throwing the paisley over my head – afraid that she might hit me. Here off Madison, with the I-don’t-give-damn threadbare oriental easing the situation, I’ve already shrunk into the worn leather sofa, nestled into velvet pillows.

“How do you plan to manage that, as you own a house?” in her flat no-nonsense tone, wry smile. I adore her: head of this preeminent institute, speaking engagements world-wide, four books. Also elegant, a mensch, and she likes me. How can I not win? I watch my fingers lace and unlace, chew the thickened spot inside my lip.

I want to say: I know!

Say: Still!

Say: Terror!

Instead, I exhale dramatically, shrug, catch her eye and reply: “I will FIND a way.”

She laughs richly. Game point mine, session over.

“Ha, hoodwinked!” Lisa hoots later over Chardonnay, leaning toward me, eyes aglow. “I hoodwinked ‘em all. Charmed their pants off. Why I quit going to therapy – once you get them that loose, no use.” Her diamond sparkles as she pursues a speck in her glass.

“But you know, I’m afraid of it, too. Bag lady: one of the foremost fears of women in Manhattan. True. They really should take us more seriously.” Down goes that last half glass, as she raises the finger of her other hand.

.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “The Terror, Seriously by Catherine Davis

  1. Ha! As they live the life of luxury… :)

  2. The games people play with their shrinks. Great fun! Peace…

  3. Catherine Davis

    Thank you all for coming by and reading Susan, Catherine, and Linda! Glad you enjoyed.

  4. wonderful, how you go in and out of scenes, heads, mouths. enjoyed this, read it several times. each time more twisted, twisting. terribly good.

    • Catherine Davis

      Marcus, I so appreciate your read. Happy words to my ear: twisted and terribly. Danke schöen (but one of the only ten Deutsche phrases I know.)

  5. This made me smile. Bag lady! would that be Prada? Nicely done!

  6. Kim Hutchinson

    I guess that’s why they’re called irrational fears. Good story!

  7. Catherine Davis

    Kim, glad to see you’ve come by – thanks for your nice words. Yes, fears, fears – normal, right? But, are you saying there are RATIONAL ones, too? I fear there’s an implication at work here…

  8. I like the game revealed between protagonist and therapist. Fun, and creative, and the exploration with this valid fear: the street, especially while living in NYC. Like the twists and the unexpected surprises.

  9. Pingback: Week #35 – Loose connections | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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