It would have been a pity to destroy this sketch; it was a real masterpiece. I hung it in my house on the wall. Then I lay down on the couch, folding my arms over my head.

I thought about my life, about my parents in Connecticut, with whom I have not spoken in a long time. They own a small restaurant and always hoped one day I become a successful businessman. They judged my decision to change career and to become a shrink. In a moment I imagine my parents, our house, backyard, and a basketball hoop near the garage.

I was also thinking about my ex-wife and about Jenn: no regret about divorce with Nicky, impossibility of love with Jenn.

It is empty in this small, cold apartment. The fucking wind on the street, the chilly winter wind, strives to permeate into every slit of the window frames. It is empty. The fucking howls and whines of dogs press from the street all the way into my room.


Chapter 5

Among the patients I worked with as a psychotherapist was Francis Morales.

Francis was a twenty-two year old Puerto Rican. His parents got divorced when he was nine years old. The whereabouts of his father have remained unknown since. Francis did not complete his education (eleventh grade), and he had no professional specialization or qualifications. He lived in a shelter in Brooklyn, and his mother and younger sister stayed in another shelter. Francis was never married and had no children.

Half a year ago he had been arrested for an apartment burglary. During the criminal investigation some questions arose regarding his mental competence. The guy was directed to special medical professionals to evaluate him and understand the reasons for such strange behavior: why he had no job, why he was not studying, and why he was living God knows how. They came to conclusion that Francis has some type of mental pathology which doesn’t allow for  him to adapt socially. They could not determine which one in particular, just putting down “depression, “and transferred his case to the Brooklyn Treatment Court, which handles criminal cases when defendants have a serious mental condition.