I’ve had some interesting conversations with my analyst recently.  

       I was telling her about the Mathematician.

       “He’s a really good guy.  Educated, hard worker, handsome, responsible, loves his kids.  He’s very transparent.  Gentle.  Makes money, too! I don’t know why he doesn’t have a girlfriend,” I said.

      “Yes.  Why doesn’t he have a girlfriend?” 

      Beats of silence.  Excellent question.

      “You know, I really don’t know.  He says he’s too busy with work and kids.”  

       “He doesn’t want to be with someone because he’s too busy?  He’d rather be alone because he has children?  That sounds like an excuse.  And you’ve seen him every week and spent the night with him twice, and he hasn’t tried to have sex with you?  For a normal man, that would be very difficult.” 

       “Well I could tell that he wanted to.  What is an appropriate reaction?  I mean what is the guy supposed to do, try to rape me?  When money’s involved, things get complicated.  I don’t do prostitution or illegal activities.  I have to have boundaries, or else I’ll get fucked in the head.”  

       “He’s repressed.” 

        For once, I disagree with her.  I think that he’s relatively inexperienced with women for a man his age (that can happen if you spend your 20s in the campus computer lab and then get married straight away) and that he’s also a Nice Man™.  I know nice men exist because I’ve met them.  They are not all a bunch of violent wild animals.  

        She does have a point, though: there’s something weird about his situation.  Not necessarily bad, but weird.  There is no logical reason why this man does not have female companionship.

       ( “He’s still in love with his mother!” my analyst said.

        “Jesus, do you ever quit it?” ) <——this part is a joke! Ha! Ha!

                     *                            *                      *                     * 

         I have a student who always shows up late to our appointments.  Ten, fifteen minutes late.  Fucking always.  

       He is also chronically unprepared.  He forgets to bring his texts sometimes.  He forgets to bring writing utensils.  

       It’s not just with me. 

       His father wants him to go to law school.  His father is a lawyer and his mother is some sort of corporate executive.  Thing is, the son isn’t a very good writer.  He doesn’t read if he doesn’t have to, either.  His father gives him a hard time about it.  His father sounds cruel, to tell you the truth.  

       The son behaves in ways that provoke frustration in other authority figures.  He manufactures it.  When they are angry with him, it confirms what he believes to be true about himself: he’s bad, inadequate.  

       Good going, Dad.  Father of the year.

      The masochist needs a sadist.  If he can’t find one, he’ll make one where none was there before.  And if that doesn’t work, he’ll become the sadist himself.  

       I bring extra pens for my student.  I bring extra copies.  I don’t sigh.  I don’t roll my eyes.  I don’t complain to his parents.  When he’s late all I say is, “I’m glad you’re okay.”  

       He needs to be nurtured.  


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