Ringtones From The Radio: Novocaine For The Soul

NovocaineForTheSoul

Eels – Novocaine For The Soul

The slanted ‘L’ of a couch has the comfiest cushions Ray has ever laid on – his eyes close, consciousness drifts… “Mr. Inew? You may sleep if you wish but for 120 dollars an hour I think our sessions are best used for therapy, and the napping done at home.”

Now awake, Ray turns to face the therapist; the man’s bald head is a solar panel specially designed to absorb fluorescent lighting, any overflow grows into facial hair as long as his time spent in the office. “Sorry, I haven’t gotten much rest lately. One thing after another…”

“That’s a good place to start.” The therapist says and leans forward.

Ray’s hands rub crust from eyes. “The issue is it never stops.”

“And by it, you mean…”

“It all.” Ray sits up to rest forearms on thighs. “I’m supposed to be starting my life, I’m trained and everything but I learned on a bike. With training wheels. And I’m on this road, same as you and everyone else.”

The therapist waits a second before saying, “Surely there’s more -”

“It’s all a race, right,” The therapist doesn’t have sharp eyes but Ray’s words come out like water from a hole in an inflatable pool, “People say that and it’s true. So how’m I supposed to start when I know I already lost? I’ll never make as much money as I could because the second I start I’m obligated to pay back loans that were necessary for the schooling to qualify for the job I’ve got no guarantee of getting but need to make any sort of decent life for myself.”

The therapist leans back, raises a hand to stop the onslaught. “You don’t need a job to make a decent living. I suppose I see where you’re coming from, in a financial sense, but if you decide to define ‘decent’ in a different, achievable right now way, then nothing can keep you from it.”

“Except reality. Because I do need a job, a good one because that’s what I’ve been told to pursue. It’s the endpoint of everything I do. Say I do decide to change my view, one day I give up and drop off the grid – even if it makes me happy it renders everything meaningless. After being lived, that life is inconsequential; there’s an established way to make a difference, leave an impact, to do anything and apparently I’m no good at any of it.” Ray feels the color in his cheeks.

“At the risk of being derivative, a change in perception may be all that’s ne-”

“Change my PERCEPTION?!” Ray can’t believe he’s paying for this, “As if I have any control over how I see the world? As if it forcing itself on me isn’t the root of all of my problems? In the wake of all that happens I’m powerless to do anything but worry, and living in a state of constant anxiety is starting to wear on me…”

The therapist steals a glance at the clock. “What you’re feeling is normal -”

“No. It can’t be.”

“Well-”

“Help. Please.”

“We don’t have time for much…” The therapist taps pen against pad, “You ever heard of O.T.?”

“I can’t even get a job; over-time is the last-”

“No, O.T. stands for -” The clock buzzes to notify of the session’s end, “And it’s helped many of my other patients.”

“Didn’t my time just end? I can’t afford anything extra.”

The therapist takes off his glasses and gets on his knees. “Don’t worry, this never lasts for more than a few minutes; now, unzip.”


Continue reading Ringtones From The Radio – Brain Stew

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