Clara, Look at Me Now 

“So. What’s on your mind?”

Anthony’s shrink looks a little bit like one he’d seen on HBO, except it’s harder to get a good look up this one’s skirt. They are half a mile from Federal Hill, where the old restaurants don’t have windows in the dining room.

“You must have some wiseguy patients.”

“You’re not the first to wonder about that.”

She smiled, without any teeth but with plenty of lipstick; looking out at him over her glasses, which Anthony couldn’t be sure were real. Women are always wearing at least one thing that’s only there so that you can imagine what they might look like as they’re taking it off.

“Tell me why you’re here.”

“I have an appointment.”

“Of course. And you have an appointment for a reason, yes?”

“Yes. No one remembers me.”

“Tell me about that.”

“No one remembers meeting me. I go to a party, or a work function, and talk to someone for an hour and the next time I see the same person they have no idea who I am.”

“So you feel like you’re not making an impact socially?”

“It’s a bit further than just that.”

“In what sense?”

“In the sense that this is my third appointment with you.”

She does not lose her composure.

“And we had this same conversation last week.”

Something comes over her face and leaves just as quickly.

“And the week before.

“I see…

“I’d like to help you. Anthony.”

“How can you help me if you’ll never know who I am?”

It was a rhetorical question.


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