Slippery Slope

“Tell me the first word that comes to your mind,” my therapist said.


I struggled to think and picked the first word that came to my mind.


She paused, wrote down something on her crisp paper clipped neatly onto her clipboard before contemplating on the next word. All I could think of was what the hell I had done to end up sitting in this chair opposite the wide-eyed lady blinking at me as though I was going to divulge all my deep, dark secrets to a stranger I had barely met for a minute.




“Goes on.”

The words came out of our mouths like balls on a billard table hit back and forth and back and forth until that one black number eighth ball comes into sight. The stick aims and prepares for the shot —


I hesitate. Then cues the pang and the shift of something inexplicable within my body and I struggled to form a sound using my paralysed mouth.


The stick strikes the ball as I watch it roll for the hole and bounce off the side instead. So close.

She stares hard at me like she could tell I had something else in mind. But I couldn’t. Couldn’t say blue reminded me of a certain person who wore blue and bought blue and loved blue.

She continues with the onslaught for the next hour or so.




“Black.” Or perhaps brown.





She scribbles something on her clipboard again. Jane? Or was it June? My mind felt blocked and submerged underwater as I concentrated on recalling who I had been exchanging one word sentences with for the past two hours or so. It seems that I have used too much of my energy trying not to walk down memory lane.

I stood as she opened the door to see me out and shake my hand. I thanked her for her attention then walked out, knowing fully well that I went in with the intentions of clearing my head but walked out with a box full of dusty skeletons and no instructions on how or where to throw it away.


I thought your name.



I struggled, I really did. But I now only look at you if a need warrants me so; such irony.

” He thought of the number of girls and women she had seen marry, how many homes with children in them she had seen grow up around her, how she had contentedly pursued her own lone quiet path-for him – and how he had sometimes seen a shade of melancholy on her blessed face, that smote him with remorse and despair. ” – Hard Times, Charles Dickens



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