A woman’s hand knocks gently on a closed white door. From the other side of that door, a male voice tells her politely that she can come in. Upon entering she speaks.
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“Hello doctor, my name is Evelina, I’m here for my 9:45 appointment. I made it
yesterday with your secretary.”
Doctor: “Certainly, Evelina, Mr. Barkinson and I were just finishing up. I’ll see you next week, Dale.”
Dale Barkinson: “Same time, Doc?”
Doctor: “Yeah Dale, same time.”
Dale Barkinson leans in to shake the doctor’s hand, the doctor obliges and does so.
Dale Barkinson: “Thanks so much Doc. I’ll see you next week.”
The doctor smiles and nods. Dale leaves the office.
Doctor: “Have a seat Evelina.”
Evelina sits in the chair that has been placed directly across from the doctor. Her chair is much more comfortable than his, and she places her arms on the prospective rests. She lets out a sigh, as if a load has already been taken from her.
Evelina: “Doctor, I want to thank you for taking me on such short notice. I understand that you are packed with appointments, and it must have been hard to shuffle people around in order for you to schedule me.”
Doctor: “Think nothing of it, Evelina. What kind of a doctor would I be, if I wasn’t able to find time to help people who needed it?”
Evelina: “Well, I guess you wouldn’t be a doctor at all. You’d be a crook, at best.”
Doctor: “Exactly. So what can I help you with today, Evelina? Why is it that you have come to see me?”
Evelina: “Well, Doctor…”
Doctor: “Please, Evelina, call me Paul---that is my name. We have no need to be so formal here.”
Evelina: “Okay, Paul, well, I guess that I have come to see you, mainly, because I just need to talk to somebody.”
Paul: “Well, that sounds like a great place to start. Now, since this is our first session, I want to get a little background about you for my file. This is really just a formality, and nothing to be concerned too much about. You don’t have to answer anything that you don’t want to.”
Paul: “Well, for starters, how old are you?”
Evelina: “Damn doc, I mean Paul, that’s a rough place to start!”
Evelina laughs and in response so does Paul.
Paul: “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. No pressure.”
Evelina: “Let’s just say I’m not as young as I used to be, but my biological clock hasn’t stopped ticking yet.”
Paul: “Okay. I will put down thirty.”
They both chuckle together again.
Paul: “What do you do for a living, Evelina?”
Evelina: “I’m a masseuse, and I work with a special technique, which, well, it gains me a certain kind of clientele. Everything is legal, mind you. I’m just saying that I’m not rubbing oil on old ladies or kneading the feet of retirees, if ya know what I mean.”
Paul: “Special technique? Sounds interesting. Would you like to expound on this?”
Evelina: “Well, sure, I mean, I came here to get cats out of the box, right? Um, sure, well, I work mainly with razorblades. I’m what people in the profession call a Sliceur. I specialize in mixing reflexology and traditional Swedish massage techniques with a special branch of South Asian acupuncture, whereby needles that are often used to pinpoint painful areas on the body are replaced by a single slice. This slice in the bare top of the surface of the skin acts as a line of energy which works to connect the points, thereby eliminating the pain area, instead of transmitting and transferring through the distractive efforts conventionally used with regular acupuncture.”
Paul: “Wow. So, you are actually cutting a person up, so to speak?”
Evelina: “No, I mean, the blade that I use is made of the sharpest cutting material. It is pure obsidian. It’s actually the same kind of blade used in surgical procedures in the most reputable hospitals. The slices that are made can hardly be felt, after the application of five different oils that are administered in a traditional Swedish massage prep, prior to the slicing.”
Paul: “Forgive me, Evelina, but it’s hard to get past that word, “slicing.”
The two laugh together again.
Evelina: “I understand, believe me. Like I said, my clientele is pretty exclusive. The individuals who come to me are never completely certain about what they want to do, however. They have thought the procedure through. Our clinic gives them a briefing as to how a session will go when they schedule, so there is never any shock when that first cut hits. And when it does, it isn’t harmful at all. I’ve had it done myself a few times, and it is basically not much worse than a scratch---but it is a long scratch, which draws blood. The very sight of blood can make a client pass out. When that happens, we always end up giving them a refund. It is just easier that way.”
Paul: “I assume that’s the best way to go. I also assume you have them sign some kind of waiver before they lay down, no?”
Evelina: “Well, they have to be over 18, etc.---and yeah, they sign a waiver. Everybody has to cover their ass, you know.”
Paul: “Ne’er a word was truer spoken. Now from the sounds of it, it seems that you take pride in your job. You must enjoy what you do, no?”
Evelina: “Oh, I love my job! And yes, I take great pride in what I do. I went to school for years to get where I am, and I practiced for quite a while as an intern of sorts upstate, before moving back to the city in order to join a clinic.”
Paul: “And how about your life outside your job? What do you do for fun, Evelina?”
Evelina: “Well, that’s just it, doctor, I guess that’s why I am here. You see, up until a few days ago, I guess I had a regular everyday person’s life. You know, I woke up, ate, got ready for work, went to work, etc. blah blah blah. But recently, I have found myself having fallen in love and that has changed everything.”
Paul: “You’ve fallen in love? Well, what is wrong with that? I mean, most people consider that a good thing---although every turn in that direction does carry with it responsibilities and new stresses. Is that what you are anxious about? Who is the lucky man or woman? Tell me about them. What made you fall for them? How long has it been going on?”
Evelina: “Well, you see, that’s the unique predicament that I am in. I haven’t fallen for any specific individual. I’ve found that I have fallen in love with life itself.”
Paul: “Ok. So, what you are saying is that you have found a new love for your own life---by that do you mean one specific thing or all of the everyday aspects?”
Evelina: “What I mean is that every single solitary smell, sight, sound…well, they all seem to have a renewed sense of wonder for me. Every new client that I get, I invest all of my energy into getting to know them now, instead of treating the work as just a job. Even when I am driving to work, I find myself finding wonder in the speed that the engine works at!”
Paul: “Well, Evelina, I must tell you, in all my days doing my best to help people through my own therapeutic efforts with them, I have never had someone walk through that door exemplifying all the characteristics of someone whom I would consider quite healthy, and not in need of therapy at all.”
Paul chuckles and Evelina smiles, though she is still, oddly, a bit shy about this new revelation.
Evelina: “So you’re saying that I have nothing to worry about, doctor? I mean, Paul.”
Paul: “Evelina, unless I’m missing something here, I would think that you should have nothing to worry about, considering your newfound love for life! You are the envy of the world---many live the majority of their lives trying to get to this point, and you have found it in the past few days!”
Evelina: “Well, thank you doctor! I feel so relieved. I thought something was wrong with me.”
Paul: “You’re welcome, and I do believe that it is quite the contrary. Something is wrong with the rest of us, surrounding you with an atmosphere whereby you have to question your own happiness! In fact, I am glad that you came to me with this today, because you have caused me to take a step back and reevaluate my own life. I should be the one thanking you.”
Evelina’s smile radiates and the two laugh together. She gets up from the comfortable chair, shakes the doctor’s hand and exits his office early.