Onwards…

a few words of a kind…

Archive for the tag “psychoanalysis”

No Rhyme, No Reason

Yesterday I got an email from a friend in London. It was a newsy note that ended,
“Life is fragile, give it plenty love.”
The ending struck a chord with me, because I had earlier been wondering about the fragility of life in light of two well publicized suicides — that of Gary Speed in the UK, and Kate Fitzgerald in Dublin.

Gary Speed.

Gary Speed

Gary Speed was 42, a highly respected footballer and manager of the Wales soccer team. Hours before he took his own life last weekend, he was on BBC1’s Football Focus show and in great form, promising to come back again before Christmas. A friend he spoke with after the show, said Gary sounded happy and full of life. Hours later, his wife found his body hanging at the family home outside Chester. There were no suspicious circumstances. No message, no goodbye note.

Kate Fitzgerald was 25, an Irish-American, she was born in San Jose, California and moved to Ireland with her Irish parents in the 1990’s. She studied journalism at Dublin City University, and became a member of Democrats Abroad, after watching George Bush demolish Kerry in a 2004 US Presidential debate. By 2007 she was the organization’s chairperson in Ireland, and had built its membership from 200 to 1400. She was a regular commentator on Irish radio during the 2008 US Presidential election and came to the States for Obama’s inaugeration.

Kate Fitzgerald

Work stress and a relationship break-up spun Kate Fitzgerald’s life upside down and she began drinking heavy. Under the influence of alcohol and antidepressants, she signed herself into St Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin, on July 18 of this year. St Pat’s specialises in mental-health issues, substance and alcohol abuse. After she was discharged from hospital in August, she sent an email to Peter Murtagh of the Irish Times, which was signed Grace Ringwood. The email contained an article on suicide, and Grace was insisting on anonymity should the Irish Times decide to publish it.

Mr. Murtagh wrote back and they made contact by phone. She told him her real name and he recognised it, as the Times had previously published an article by her. She was a good writer and seemed more mature and confident than her 25 years. Murtagh said he’d recommend that the Times publish her piece, but he would disclose her real name to the editor. She seemed pleased with that and followed up the conversation with an email a few hours later, in which she said she enjoyed writing and looked forward to contributing to the Irish Times in the future.

On Friday, September 9th, the day before World Suicide Prevention Day, the Times published her piece, anonymously, as she requested. A few days later her father, Tom Fitzgerald, called the newspaper and said he was certain the suicide article had been written by his daughter Kate. She had taken her own life on August 22nd, a couple of hours after emailing Murtagh. He may have been the last person she spoke to. There was no goodbye note, no explanation. She was only a few weeks out of hospital.

The fragility of life, the balancing act of the mind. Two talented people calling time long before it’s due. Two people who seemed to be in good spirits, when they spoke to others, just hours before taking their own lives. I wondered how this could be. I looked back at the suicides which had impacted my own life and still came up with no answers.

Paddy was my dad’s cousin and one of his best friends. He had a fine farm, a small shop in the village and was engaged to a local hair stylist. I was in primary school at the time, and remember when their relationship ended, because there was a lot of talk in our kitchen about the engagement ring being returned to Paddy.

One spring Sunday, he came to our house after Mass for the usual cup of tea and a chat with my dad. It was lambing season and he was going to the farm, in case foxes or carrion crows were preying on newborns. After that, he was meeting his ex in a local hotel, and she was returning the ring. He seemed in good humour and said he’d see us later, but I never saw Paddy again.

That afternoon a man came with the news that Paddy had been found dead, half his head blown off. I’ll never forget that. The man was a family friend and he was shocked and distraught. He explained that even though the news was devastating, he couldn’t stop laughing and said it was like his brain was working backwards. I’ll never forget that either, or the trouble that my dad and his friends went to, to ensure Paddy’s death would be registered as an accident, rather than suicide. It was my dad who delivered the news to his ex, as she sat in the hotel lobby, waiting for Paddy. In later years I asked dad about it. He conceeded that Paddy took his own life, but the why remained a mystery. “I suppose something snapped in the poor fella,” he said.

Jack was a grouchy old man, a life long dole recipient who lived in a council house with his son’s family. He always wore a brown suit and tweed cap and held court with other dolers in an alleyway near the post office. He was king of the corner-boys and delighted in lobbing smart remarks at decent and innocent people. I didn’t like him. One evening I was coming home from fishing and I met Jack on the road. He had a coil of rope over his shoulder and he stopped to chat with me, which I thought was unusual. He was friendly and spoke about good fishing spots and what the best flies were for that time of the year. We continued on our separate ways and I went home for my tea.

Some hours later word came to town that Jack was found hanging in Mrs. C’s cowshed. The widow discovered him there when she brought the animals home for milking. The news stunned me. I was confused and tried to convince myself that it must have been an accident, hadn’t I spoken to him earlier? And he didn’t seem cracked or crazy, if anything he was more than normal. I couldn’t reconcile things, and the image of that coil of rope over Jack’s shoulder has never left me.

Maurice was a few years older than me. He worked in London and came home for two weeks holidays every summer. Wearing the latest fashions, he cut a dash, maybe too much of a dash for our town. We hung out with him in the shoemakers workshop and he told us about a book he was writing. It was about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, years before the cliché was coined. I was fascinated and figured the book would be banned in Ireland. At the time I was playing in a local band with a cousin of Maurice’s and we absorbed every word he told us about the London scene, the clubs, the hustlers, the whiz and the gizz. He promised to come to a gig we were playing in Lahinch at the weekend, and we were excited that he was coming to hear us.

I heard about Maurice’s suicide from his cousin. Maurice had hung himself from a tree in the Old Glen, a place he loved to walk. We were numbed, helpless and bewildered. How could he? He was in the middle of the scene in London and seemed to be enjoying life with no problems. What went wrong? We never found out. He left no note. As a mark of respect we cancelled the gig, it was the only gesture we could make.

Who we meet on the street may not be who they appear to be. Everyone suffers, everyone wants to be happy and free from sorrow. But for some, the pain gets so great that it blocks the light of the soul. Life is fragile alright, and I wish we always knew how to go with the flow, and avoid the submerged rocks and demons. As Jerry Garcia sang in ‘Ripple’, “If I knew the way, I would take you home.”

In the wake of Gary Speed’s death, Irish journalist Eamonn Maillie spoke to psychiatrist Dr. Phillip McGarry about secrecy and depression. Here’s their conversation.

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Morning Tea

here’s short story about a woman and her man…roles can be reversed to suit…

She woke earlier than usual, suddenly alert, like she’d parachuted into the dawn from a dreamless sleep. It was 6.51 on the digital radio clock,  and grey slivers of light crept through the sides of the curtains.  She’d snooze  for another hour, until Jack brought  her morning cup of tea. And then it struck her that she’d talk to him today. She’d break the ice and say,

“Thanks, Jack.”

Maybe she’d ask, “What kind of a day is it?”  The freeze had gone on too long— two months, maybe more. She’d relent and speak to him today.

Mona turned towards the wall and pulled the duvet over her head and shoulders like a hood. The bedroom was cold, and she made a mental note to ask Jack to reset the boiler for quickening winter. She’d say it in a soft voice, maybe at teatime. They should be cautiously talking by then. She’d prepare something nice for him — one of his favourite dishes, something from their early years.  Toad in the Hole, Cornish Pasties, Welsh rarebit.

And lunch too. When he’d come at 1pm from his job in Carney’s Medical Hall, she’d have a hearty plate on the table instead of a sliced loaf  and a hard lump of  orange cheddar. Of course, if right was right, he should be having his lunch in Carney’s.  If right was right, Carney’s should be theirs: she was Carney, it had been her father’s business. The thought made her restless and she turned on her back and felt colder. It was Jack’s fault. Her father didn’t like him, thought him a wimp. And rather than pass on the business to them, he sold it instead. She didn’t even get the money, her father left it all to the Vincent de Paul. That caused the first major row between her and Jack. That row lasted nearly a year and finished when she fell down the stairs and broke her ankle.

As she recovered, Jack began talking about starting a family. She’d postponed having a child  while her father was alive, because the old man was adamant he’d prefer the line to be extinct  than have it tainted with Jack’s blood.  She didn’t tell this to Jack, but filed it away as ammunition for a vicious row, when she really wanted to stab him in the heart. Now  talk of starting a family was unnerving. She wasn’t ready. The thought of coupling with Jack  paled and lined her face. It slowed her recovery. One evening at tea, as he served up spicy chicken wings and French fries, he said,

“I can’t wait until we’re setting this table for three.”

“Who’s moving in?” she asked wearily.

“Well…our child…I mean not immediately…but you know what I mean…in the future.”

“Oh,” she sighed, paused to push away her untouched plate and said, “If you don’t mind Jack, I’d prefer not to think of that right now. I need all my energy to get on my feet again, so I don’t have to depend on you.”

“It’s no bother to me.”

“Well it bothers me Jack. And for the last month at least, it’s nothing from you but having a baby, preferring a girl if it made me happier. What the hell is all this about? It’s all your decision. What about me? What about me, Jack? Hmm? You lost the Medical Hall on me and now you want a baby.  You’re pathetic Jack.”

He took his meal into the sitting room and they didn’t speak again until she had to go to the hospital to have the cast removed from her leg. But he never stopped bringing her a cup of tea in the morning. That was the one constant in their marriage, Jack always brought her a cuppa in bed, and he was always waving the flag of truce. And though she despised the gesture, she always welcomed the tea.

She turned on the left shoulder and glanced at the clock: 7.40. Times goes slowly when you wake early. She’d often stayed awake right through the night, only dropping off when she heard children going to school. Many movies had run in her head in the darkness, reels of film were scattered on the floor of her mind. In some films, she was married to other men— Gabriel Byrne and Bill Clinton were husbands in a few dramas. In another feature, Jack dies, gets killed or just disappears, and she marries Robert de Niro,  who’s the local doctor.

The floor upstairs creaked and she perked her ears like a hound. Jack was up. More rummaging than usual. The wardrobe door creaks open, clothes hangers rattle, the rumble of shoes. A sneeze. Then solid footsteps across the landing and down the stairs to her floor. Right turn into the bathroom, bolts the door and water fills the hand-basin.  Washing. Gurgle of wastewater. Toilet flush. Door unbolts and Jack exits the bathroom, turns left and goes down the stairs.

She waited for the snapping sound of kindling wood, waited for the scent of burning pine to weave upstairs through the thin morning air. Hearing no fire making, she wondered what he was at. That bloody kitchen will be freezing when I get up, she thought, if he doesn’t put down a fire soon. From below came the shrill whistle of the kettle on the gas burner as it boiled.  At least he’s making the tea, she sighed and relaxed.

Footsteps came up the stairs and she pretended to be asleep, heart pacing as she waited for Jack to twist the brass doorknob. But Jack turned right instead, and climbed the steps to the next floor. Mona opens her eyes. What’s he at? Rummaging. Footsteps on the landing and down the stairs again, slowly, like he’s taking one step at a time. He passes her room and descends to the kitchen. That’s odd, she thought and turned on her back and looked at the ceiling.

They never had a family. After she broke the ankle, they weren’t intimate again. They slept together for the warmth and security of the company, but there was no talk of  babies coming into the house. She was the boss, it was her house, inherited from her grandmother. He’d made a good catch and he should be happy to have such a sturdy roof over his head. In fairness, he wasn’t demanding and was always there when she needed him. When they went out to dine with friends or to functions at the golf club or the hotel, he was the perfect partner and great company. He blossomed when they socialized with Doctor Logan and his wife, the Carters, the Faheys, or other town gentry. After Jack had a few gins, she could almost love him. It was then she saw the man she married. The vision never lasted long and the more she drank, the more he morphed into a toad. If it wasn’t her house, she’d have left him years ago. She tried to throw him out several times, but he refused to go. Ignored her and went about his life as normal.

A few years after her father died, they attended a marriage counselor in Limerick. It was expensive and they went twice a month on Thursday afternoons, when the Medical Hall closed for the half-day. She remembered the journeys were long and grey, she drove her father’s old Morris Oxford, because Jack never learned to drive. But he paid for the session and bought the petrol. On the way home, they stopped at the West County Grill and he was always chatty and ordered the best courses on the menu. He always said they were making progress and urged her to do the communication exercises that the counselor suggested. She promised to do them the following day,  but that day never came.  And then, as they were about to attend their first session of the New Year, something snapped and Mona said,

“This is going nowhere, Jack. I’m not wasting anymore time. This therapy thing isn’t working for me.”

“Just give it a few more tries, we’re making progress Mona, we really are. We had the best Christmas we’ve ever had.”

She shook her head and said, “If you want, go by yourself, you can have my car.”

He called the counselor and apologized that they wouldn’t be making the appointment. Then wrote a check for the fees and put it in the mail.

She heard the toaster pop and then got the whiff of charred bread. Soon he’ll bring  the tea, she thought, maybe he was making toast for her. Maybe he’d go the extra mile and  bring a glass of orange juice as well, like he used do when they were first married. Sometimes he brought her grapefruit, sprinkled with brown sugar and caramelized under the grill.

The sun came over the houses and weakly lit the room with a slice of light through the window drapes. A magpie chattered somewhere outside, and a few cars passed on their way to Ennis. The garbage truck trundled down Main Street, and a school bus pulled up in the square and unloaded students. She glanced at the clock: 8.50. Christ! Where was her tea? Here he comes — the  solid footstep climbing steadily, balancing the cup. A rush of thoughts scrambled through her head. What would she say to him? Thanks? Eyes open, she lay on her back, staring at the ceiling as the doorknob turned and he entered.

“You’re awake,” he said softly as he bent down to leave the cup and saucer on the bedside locker, “here’s your tea.”

She got a whiff of cologne, but said nothing, thinking he never wears cologne going to work.  She decided to ignore him.

“No word today either,” he said.

Jack stood beside the bed and Mona stared blankly at the ceiling. He turned away after a short while, left the room and quietly closed the door. His cologne hung in the  room and she sat up in annoyance. She heard him sob quietly as he descended to the kitchen. The old softy, she spat, what a bloody weeping willow. It’s me who has cause to weep, not him. She sipped the tea: it was too strong and she angrily left it back on the locker. He couldn’t even make a proper cup of tea anymore.

The cathedral bells pealed for morning Mass, as a car pulled up outside and someone got out. Gentle knock on the door. That’s odd, she thought and  wondered who it was.  She felt tempted to peep out the window. The door opened and she heard the mumble of voices. A woman talking to Jack? She heard the front door close with a firm bang, car doors shut and the vehicle moved away. What was that about? Who was that woman? Did Jack go off in the car with her? Was she giving him a ride to work? Why?

Peeved, she bounded from the bed, donned dressing gown and slippers and hurried downstairs. A growing sense of emptiness met her step by step, and by the time she reached the ground floor, her heart was alarmed.  She flashed her eyes around the kitchen, trying to understand what was different, what was wrong. Nothing was out of place, except the bunch of keys on the bare table. Jack’s keys. The key of her house, the keys of Carney’s Medical Hall, the key of his bicycle lock. She picked them up and hurried back upstairs, wondering where to hide them.

“What a fool,” she mulled, “to leave the house without his keys.”

She put them at the bottom of her underwear drawer and got back into bed to wait for his  knock on the door or his call on the phone. Of course she wouldn’t answer either. Rain pattered against the  window and cold crept around her. Mona wondered why he hadn’t put down the fire.

“What about me, Jack?” She asked the empty house, “What about me?”


Books by Eddie Stack

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Mr. Jones: part II

(read part 1 here)

Canon Jones: The brother

Canon Jones: The brother

Do you know his brother? The canon? Lovely man. They don’t talk at all. Haven’t for years. They had a row, up at the hotel one evening. It was terrible. The bishop and all the priests of the diocesse were there. I think it was after Confirmation, yes, yes it was. And he came in and gate crashed their gathering, you know, barged into the room where they were having a quiet drink or whatever. The canon told me about it later. You see, the canon knew he was drunk and tried to wheel him out before any trouble started, but he wasn’t able. Then they had a row. The canon was mortified because my fellow shouted that the bishop was having an affair with a certain nun. Maybe he was, I don’t know. The hotel people called the Guards and he was arrested. He refused to apologise to the bishop. Only for that, the canon would be a monsignor, maybe even a bishop now. But that finished him. After that the poor man was tranfered to a parish in the back of beyonds. They haven’t spoken since.

Of course that wasn’t the first time he was arrested, oh God no, he has been arrested several times. And always got away with it. Connections, you see, since his rugby days. If right was right he should have gotten jail a few times. But he didn’t. There’s no justice, is there? It all depends on who you know. One time he was arrested for striking a publican up the town. He broke his jaw because the man refused to serve him. He was drunk, very drunk. I think it was after a funeral or something. He loves funerals. Sometimes I think he only gets up out of bed to go to funerals. The first thing he does in the morning is to read the death notices in the newspapers. That isn’t normal, is it? So he broke that poor man’s jaw and was arrested in another pub down the street. He was singing a song apparently when the Guards came in for him and he wouldn’t leave until the song was finished. They brought him to court and the judge just bound him to the peace for two years. Terrible wasn’t it? After breaking a poor man’s jaw. He said he didn’t mean it, that it was a friendly tap. Friendly tap! I heard the court room was in stitches laughing. He should have got jail, but you see he had the connections.

And when I think of all the times he was pulled for drunken driving. And got away scot free mostly. Except for the time he was caught in the North somewhere. Ballymeana I think. He was up at a rugby match and of course was drinking his way home. The police stopped him and he became very abusive apparently, told them he’d get the IRA after them.belfastcops Can you imagine? Nobody in their right mind would say a thing like that. Sure they wouldn’t? But he did. So they arrested him, and rightly so. He was locked up for days. The Guards came here to the door at three in the morning to tell me. I thought he was dead when I heard the knock. They let him out on bail, I can’t remember what it was but it was a lot of money at the time, several thousand pounds anyway. And then he had to go to court up there which was a different kettle of fish than going before one of his cronies down here. Oh it was in the papers and all. The judge called him a disrespectful thug who shoudn’t drink. He gave him a big lecture and a huge fine and would have put him in jail were it not for pressure from the Taoiseach. He knew the Taoiseach from the rugby, you see, and the Ard Fheises. Connections again. But of course he hated the publicity the case brought him. It was even on the radio about him. I said nothing to him. What was the point? I’d said it all already and he never listened to me anyway.
“Shut up woman! Shut up woman!” is all he ever said to me.

And when he’s drinking he gets into all sorts of silly business. You’ve seen him drinking? Haven’t you? He does stupid things and gets into terrible messes. Like that time himself and that…oh what’s his name…the fella from Mayo…I can’t think of him now…but anyway, they stole sheep one night over in Offaly. Total madness. They were after bringing over two horses to some trainer there and of course there was drink involved. So they stole sheep from a farm near Birr and brought them home in the lorry. Worse, the fools put them into our fields. He was in court for that too but got away with it. And when you’d see him in the morning after he gets up, and he dressed like Prince Phillip, you’d swear he was a proper gentleman, wouldn’t you. He dresses well, I have to say that for him. That’s the best I can say about him.

He goes to Cheltenham every year, you know. For the races. Once he was away for nearly three weeks. He had a big win, that’s what he told me on the phone. I could hear a party going on in his room, women laughing and somebody singing. I hung up on him. apronThe next day I closed the butcher shop, why should I slave and he having a good time? And I always wanted to have a shoe shop so I got Tommy Hynes the builder to come in and change everything, take out the big cold room and the display cases and all that kind of thing. My brother has a fine shoe shop in Kilkenny and he supplied me with stock to get it started. I should have done it years before, but you don’t think of the obvious sometimes, sure you don’t?

When he came back from Cheltenham he was so drunk that he didn’t even notice the change in the place. It was a week or more before he realised it. One morning he went out to the shop in his striped butchers apron and stood behind the counter. Big man trying to make an impression, you know? He’d do that sometimes, pretend to me he was turning over a new leaf, especially if he’d overdone something. Atoning for his sins. Lot of sighing, like his mother. And standing at the door, smoking and chit-chatting. But he was too sick to go to the door this morning and he just stood behind the counter. I was watching him from the kitchen. He looked around the shop, and all he saw were shoes. I could see the confused look on his face. He must have thought he was hallucinating because he screamed and ran upstair to bed with his hands over his head. We never spoke about it. I don’t give him any money from the shop. Why should I? His father left him a fortune. He’ll never drink it. Maybe that’s the problem. What do you think?

====== END =======

read part i here

title inspired by Bob Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man


Books by Eddie Stack

Eddie Stack’s books for Kindle + iPhone

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Finito

Note: This is fiction, inspired by a lot of talk I’ve heard about therapy and therapists over the last few days…
therapy

Dr. Horace Steiner’s therapy room was warm and smelled musty, with a faint whiff of heating oil. His patient, Larry Ryan, lay on the couch sobbing and Dr. Horace let him be, inhaled deeply and gazed out the window that overlooked High Street. He frowned blankly at the head shop on the opposite side and wondered what fantasies and troubles his next patient, Mary Kelly, would bring. After Mary he’d have lunch in the Cuckoo’s Nest on the quays. Today was Friday and they’d have crab cakes on the menu. He’d have crab cakes, French fries, tossed salad and a glass of wine. Maybe two glasses of wine.

Horace was retiring age, but reluctant to give up his practice. There were a number of reasons for this. First, he didn’t know what he would do with his spare time, he hadn’t any hobbies or interests: once he did — stamp collecting, bird watching, a spot of polo when he was younger, golf every so often. But he’s lost interest in all of that stuff now. Second, he dreaded being at home all day with his wife, his third wife, Mary Lou. He sighed and wondered if he needed therapy himself: three wives in thirty years, not a record by a long shot. Larry King had eight, or was it nine?Could he manage a fourth wife? Mary Kelly flickered through his mind and he flexed his shoulders. No, not Mary Kelly, not another Mary.

Larry moaned and stammered an incoherent sentence. Horace turned his head away from the window, exhaled quietly and said,
“That’s the saddest story I’ve ever heard in my entire career. She took you for 200k, shot your dog and ran off with your mother’s hairdresser. That’s awful, really awful.”
Larry wailed and curled into the fetal position.
“Horrible,” Horace said, “really horrible, no wonder you’re in such a state.”
He left his chair and went to the cluttered desk in the corner and searched for something. Pills. He took up this bottle and that, read labels, cast them aside. Picked up another, discarded it, then another. Finally he found the correct container, Zibrax. He poured a glass of water from the cooler and shuffled to the couch.
“Here,” he said quietly to Larry, “this pill will help you.”

Larry took the medicine and Horace advised him to lay still, inhale deeply and watch his breath. Horace put a tape into his boom box and played new age flute music, then lit a stick of incense.

Back in his chair, Horace glanced around the therapy room. It was in a mess but he hadn’t the interest to tidy it. If he were charging top dollar for consultations he’d have a cleaner in. But the Irish wouldn’t pay top dollar for therapy. The Irish didn’t understand they had to pay someone to listen to them and try and unravel their messes and tangles. They confused him and he could never figure if they were really telling him how things actually were with them or if they were making it all up. Like Mary Kelly for instance. Was she really having an affair with a priest? And did they really go to Amsterdam every month to S&M parties? He didn’t know what to believe. The Irish had very fertile imaginations.

Larry was moaning again, the pill wasn’t doing the job. Horace glanced at him, pathetic clothes hanger in a crumpled suit. Larry was an engineer, worked in an office across town. Sad story, if one could believe him. Now he was bawling and stammering nonsensically.
“Take it easy,” Horace said quietly, “take it easy Larry.”

The phone on the desk rang and Larry quietened. The answering machine clicked in: Horace’s wife Mary Lou cried ‘Don’t forget to get milk’.
Larry sobbed again and Horace moved near him.
“Ok Larry, ok…now, here’s what I want you to do…I want you to raise your left leg high as you can off the couch and with a much force as you can muster up, slam it on the couch and shout ‘I’m angry and upset but I’m ok.’ Do that five times with the left leg and then do it with the right leg.”

Larry did what he was told and Horace returned to his chair and stared out the window. He wondered if Larry’s girlfriend really shot the dog. Shot the critter with Larry’s duck hunting gun. Freud would say she was shooting Larry by proxy. Of course Freud also said the Irish were the only race in the world that couldn’t be psychoanalyzed. Admittedly Freud was wrong about a number of things, but maybe he was on target about the Irish. And then it struck Horace that if he retired, he might write a book about his years giving therapy to the Irish. There was plenty of material. Subversive ballerinas, Buddhist butchers, film star typists, lesbian nuns and gay jockeys. If he had known Ireland was so weird, he’d never have left America. He should have researched the move more thoroughly. The countryside enchanted him and he was in love with Mary Lou back then and everything looked rosy, even the grey Burren hills. They came over for a tryst weekend from New York and fell in love with the place. His mind rambled back to that weekend, arriving in Shannon, driving up the coast, smoked salmon in Lisdoonvarna and an afternoon shag on the deserted beach at Bishop’s Quarter.

He forgot about his patient until Larry kicked the wall with a thunderous bang that jolted Horace. Larry was in a frenzy, legs and arms flaying and thumping. Horace was taken aback. Larry jumped off the couch and attacked a filing cabinet.
“Whoa!!” Horace shouted, “Whoa, Larry…take it easy man…calm down…”
But Larry was ‘out there’ tearing around the room, battering furniture, shouting ‘I’m angry and fed up and fucked up and nobody gives a shit and you just take my fuckin’ money and buy milk for your fuckin’ wife…”
“It’s ok Larry…it’s ok…”
“It’s not fuckin’ ok!!”
Larry lifted the couch with the ease of a circus strongman and flung it at Horace. The analyst fell on the floor with a scream. The phone rang again and Larry picked it up. It was Mary Lou with another reminder about the milk.
“There will be no milk today,” Larry panted, “’cause the cow jumped over the moon and I’m damned if I’m goin’ to run after her…I’ve done enough running in my life…I’ve had it…finito.“
“Finito,” moaned Horace, as the door banged and Larry rattled down the stairs, “I’ve had it too. I’ve had it with the Irish…Freud was right…they’re too much for us…too much…they’ll kill us before we cure them…”

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