Liminality of Therapy Waiting Rooms
(listen to the poem, read by the author)
So sorry, but I just had to say hello to you. I love your docs.
I saw you last week right? You had on the high school cross country shirt
You bounced your leg the same way I used to. And you were sitting there,
nibbling on your sleeve while we waited for the bespeckled secretary to call us in.
(You know, the one with the chunky jewelry that goes clink clink)
Neither of us wanted to be here but both of us chose to and I think we should know each other.
You see Doctor [blank]? Ah, I see Doctor [blank]. They told me he was good when I got in here.
The straw that broke my parents back was fainting in the coffee shop. God that was wild.
Broke a few cups and scared the baristas half to death. Now I take iron supplements.
Do you like coffee? What’s your favorite drink? Are there any cafes nearby you like?
Can we talk about treatment together? Do you feel safe when you’re at home?
What are the holidays like for you? Do you also like Halloween more than Christmas
because getting to dress up as something you aren’t is more of a gift than any toy?
When things started getting worse for you, did you also get threatened with more treatment?
Like it was a sword of Damocles wrapped in “Live, Laugh, Love” posters?
God I’m just yap yap yapping aren’t I?
There’s a window just down the hall that looks out onto the city street.
One day I was leaving one of these sessions and I saw two people kiss on the street corner.
The taller one had bright pink hair, and she let it drape over the shoulders of her girlfriend.
I’d never seen two people feel so close in a public space. I wondered how they met.
There was a group of high schoolers filming their friend giving someone a piggy-back ride.
And a gaggle of toddlers watched over by their parents playing hopscotch.
I guess what I’m trying to say in the most circuitous way possible is that I like your shoes.
And I’m in this place that costs $10,000 an hour and there’s cameras in every corner.
And we have to tell people when we go to the bathroom. So I guess I just want a somebody.
It would be really, really nice to feel safe with somebody.
Next week I will bring a puzzle. Do you want to do a puzzle with me?
That sounds good.
I’ll see you next week then.
I love you.
About the Author
John Finnegan (they/them) is a junior English literature student at Chapman University. They emphasize transcribing their lived experience into their work as a form of self-reflection. When not writing, they are often reading, walking the beaches of Southern California, or caring for plants with their friends. They can be found on Twitter at @finneyflame or on Instagram @jwfinnegan