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Ploughing through The Examined Life by psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz. Ploughing seems an unkind word, though, conjuring up images of leather harnesses and sandwiches. Far from it, it is a fascinating insight into the broken minds of everyday people. Indeed, it brought me to reflect on my own stint on the chaise longue, tossing dark confessions at the shrink. He asked me to write down my troubles, which i have highlighted below. On reading through the notes – scribbles of the avenues and recesses of my past hauntings – he suggested that i burn the jotter in the Rayburn. I said that I would, but secretly kept it in the garage amongst other rejected possessions (LPs, shoes, a full-length mirror with an irreparable crack).

Anyhow, i intent to ‘straddle’ the above book with The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. I bought it on impulse using a gift card for HMV, fearing the establishment was about to go under. As far as i know they are still operating, but, no matter, i have no regrets. Fear And Loathing… was magnificent, so i can only assume that my impressionable mind will be suitably cultivated and that i will be a raving alcoholic be end of play Thursday.

Reflections from my psychiatric file:

psychiatry will begin in three minutes time
firstly, I have brought in pancakes from the street
or perhaps we can examine your clay feet, whilst we eat
there is honey in the fridge, though I am perched in your way
turn the hob to gas mark five and I will leap to the fray
wash your mind of all becoming, shards of glass cannot be repaid
once you have sunk into the sink we can begin to exchange
your darkest moments of abandon are trickling off your tongue
I am picking threads inside your mind, we have only just begun
I am losing much my patience with your rambling incoherent tales
I reach out for the absinthe from the second shelf
now you start to make some progress, though how quizzical you peer
better have this bottle so the same words we both can hear
your darkness has no bounds, it is ugly, it is fat
whilst you blubber forthwith, can I have the bottle back
did you say you were a rabbit, or is that just the way you look
I have vegetables in a basket underneath the extractor hood
back and forth like a tennis ball the conversation flows
you are hitting harder with your hind legs, I need to gain control
so nonchalant, you pick summer fruits that adorn a pancake plain
have you any idea how hard it is to pick fibres from your brain
I feel myself cloud over, our alcoholic mist
perhaps we shed this apartment light, say let’s go out a bit
you wrap yourself in much fur of rabbit, mink or hare
I peel apart my wooden door and court you around and down the stairs
oh autumn breeze please save me, leaves driving round the bend
I have to catch my sanity so I can help my friend
many shadows play in wintertime, right now I see but one
I take the lead from its blurring speed and begin again at once
so tell me of your childhood, the seaside holiday
let’s lift the shells and pebbles, let’s inspect the slow decay
ah four brothers and a sister, and a spaniel with a limp
and the shadow of your father is in the netted shrimp
crutches sink into the sand, whilst shadows cast on prey
I gather from your weeping it was not a happy day