The Devil doesn’t care
Harry was sitting in the waiting-room of Dr. Benway’s office. He was tired, couldn’t manage to fall asleep after reading the ominous e-mail. He was afraid of bad dreams, as if the e-mail opened the door for something terrible inside his head.
The waiting-room was a dark place, a scarlet red filled the walls, faint light kept from the room from being swallowed up by darkness. While it was sunny inside, it seemed like Dr. Benway’s office wanted to shield any light from invading within. It wasn’t like this before. A year ago, when Harry still went to regular sessions, it was just another inconspicuous waiting-room. Something changed. So many things change in such a short span of time.
Finally Benway’s patient opened the door. An attractive young woman came out, thanking the doctor. Harry got up to move to the door. The young woman passed him, looking at him with an usual tendency. Her eyes were green, her eyes were judging him. Harry stopped and looked back until the young woman disappeared into the hallway, into the darkness. He didn’t even hear her open the front door. Something is not right, Harry thought. He knew it had to be because of his fragile temperament, when your mind is more prone to apocalyptic signs.
”Come on Harry,” he heard Dr. Benway call from her office.
The room looked different too. The walls were scarlet red, with only a faint light in the center of the room. It looked more like a séance room than a therapist office. Harry sat on the chair in front of Benway. Dr. Benway was a woman in her early fifties, with strict eyes that seemed to imbued intelligence. An attractive woman who looked a decade younger than she was.
”I have to ask, what the fuck have you done with this place?”
”You don’t like it?” Dr. Benway asked.
”No I don’t. It’s fucking creepy. I’m not sure if I’m here for a reading or here for a session.”
Dr. Benway laughed, ”it’s part of an experiment. According to some study, having a more theatrical surroundings makes it easier for some patients to open up. To tell you the truth I thought it was bullshit, but I don’t make the rules here. This is not my private practice. If the boss tells me to do something, I have to do it.”
”Why don’t you start your private practice?”
”I’m planing on retiring in the next five years anyway. What’s the use?”
”What are you going to do instead?”
”I don’t know. I like to figure out what I want to do in my autumn years.”
”You could do what I do.”
”I’m not sure if that would make me happy.”
”There’s a higher calling than happiness.”
”Why do you think I’m a therapist? After I’m done, it’s all about me. So tell me Harry, what can I do for you? You haven’t been here for over a year. You want to start again?”
”Not really, I came because I’ve been receiving some e-mails. E-mails with references to something very personal and though, I’m not accusing you of anything, I just want to save that your files are not safe.”
”I’m not sure what you are getting at?”
”I’m saying someone hacked into your files. They’ve been using information against me and I will probably be not the only one. You or this practice, needs to protect its files better. I’m just here to give you a warning. Perhaps you should just write down and not on the computer.”
”What kind of information?”
”Something my mother said. Something almost nobody knows but you.”
”I’m sorry, but we haven’t had any word of a breaching.”
”Yes that’s why they are really good. They make sure of that.”
Benway wrote something in her notebook.
”I’ll make a note of this and report it.”
”May I ask Harry, what as information concerning your mother?”
”It was the time when I found her naked in her room. When her OCD got really bad again. The beginning of the end you could say.”
”I’m sorry Harry.”
”It’s not your fault. It still hurts but I can deal with it.”
”Have you been to the police?”
”I’ve made a report but it’s not going to do much. They’ve got piles of cases like this and I’m not that big of a celebrity to begin with.”
”Any idea who is targeting you?”
”Oblivion. I’ve been talking about them on my podcast. I guess someone had it in for me. In a way it’s my fault. You awake a dragon, you might get burned.”
”Then why did you awake the dragon?”
”Because nobody else does. Nobody wants to pay the price for a better world. Everybody just wants to huddle into their corner and be left alone, while they go into our heads and do what they want. It’s the way the world works now. Everything is out in the open and it’s there for the world to play with. We want to connect with each other but instead, we drove each other further apart.”
”I’m guessing you’re still single.”
”Yeah I still haven’t gotten over her. Don’t tell me that I should cos I know this already.”
”You don’t look good Harry.”
”I haven’t sleeping much. I’ve been doing a lot of drinking though. And smoking. And other stuff. Stone is back in town. You know what that means.”
”I thought you cut of that friendship?”
”Yeah but he keeps coming back.”
”Why did you stop therapy? You never gave me a clear answer.”
”Cos I’m tired of it. It’s always the same. I’m in my forties now and it’s just one loop after another. You don’t have answers. Nobody does. And I’m just sick of talking about myself. Just sick and tired of talking about myself…”
Harry took a deep breath then: ”and I don’t want to think about my mother. I will miss her. I don’t want that now. It’s too much.”
”You really think they are doing this to hurt you?”
”I don’t see any other reason. I’m not an important guy. I used to be big in the literary world but that fame is long gone now. My mother was the real big-shot, not me. I can’t even give them much money. I might know some people but the important ones, besides Stone, don’t care to talk to me anymore. I’m a has-been. I’m a fucking nobody.”
”You are not, you know that’s your depression talking. I can prescribe some…”
”I don’t want you to prescribe me anything.”
”Then at least lay of the booze and drugs Harry. Get Stone out of your life.”
”He’s my only friend. Would you believe that?”
Dr. Benway came closer, reached out to Harry’s shoulder, holding it, ”look at me Harry.”
Harry looked at her, ”you remember what your mother said?”
”I told you, I don’t want to think about my mother.”
”Well you have no choice. You remember what she said?”
Harry sighed, he remembered, he just didn’t want to say it.
”’The devil doesn’t care if you’re crying about him, but he does care if you’re laughing at him.”’
”Yeah that was good.”
”This is an absurd world. We don’t know how to handle it. There’s all this craziness because we don’t know what to do with ourselves. There are so many people who are lost. So many people lose their minds. But if we manage to laugh about it, if we can see the true absurdity of it all, we put life in its rightful place. It’s all we can do when nothing makes sense.”
Harry looks back, a tear streaming down from his eye, he didn’t know what to say except, ”I really miss her.”
Dr. Benway smiled, ”you can always come here, you know that.”
”I know,” Harry took a deep breath, ”it’s time to face the world again Doctor. Wish me luck. Thanks for the talk.”
Harry got up and Dr. Benway said her last words; ”don’t be like the rest Harry. Try to see comprehend the absurdity of it all. Give yourself a rest.”
Harry walked the stairs from the building where Dr. Benway’s office resided and walked to his car. He got in, took a deep breath, grabbed his pack of cigarettes and put one in his lips. After lighting his cigarette he was about to put the key in the ignition when he noticed an envelope in the passenger seat. Harry looked at it for a while. He didn’t really want to open it. It was probably better if he just threw it out the window, but he couldn’t help himself and he reached for it.
On the back of the envelope it simply said: OBLIVION.
Harry opened the envelope, a blank piece of paper with the words: YOU HAVE TO FALL REALLY FAR IF YOU WANT TO KNOW TO KNOW THE TRUTH.
Art by David Lynch