Walk Down Misery Street

Now I had my own office and didn’t have such a crazy workload. The sense of an endless flow of patients, like log piles traveling downstream, had disappeared. I now had the opportunity to listen more attentively to what patients were saying.

Unfortunately, I soon learned this place had a different problem—politics. Endless gossip, whispering, betrayal, fighting for positions, for favors from bosses. Workers were always forming alliances and battling each other. One group would oppose the administration and the other would stay loyal to it. This was the working climate.

Anyone who didn’t want to take part in this cut-throat competition would shut the door of his office and hang a sign in the door: “Session in progress! Please, do not disturb!”




Charming Cynthia


Up until then I had only dealt with the tough guys who didn’t come by choice, but were mandated for treatment by courts and prosecutors. And suddenly—here was a lady. She was my first female patient.

To describe Cynthia as beautiful would be an understatement. She was Puerto Rican, fit, and very charming. She usually came to the clinic in a stylish, form-fitting denim suit, drawing the eye to her body. It’s a pity that such a naturally attractive girl disfigured herself with obvious massive silicone implants. Cynthia danced in a strip club.

She needed a letter from me for the court, where the judge was to decide if she could see her child and how often. Her five-year-old son was living with her husband, who had filed for divorce and sole custody of their son.

I will admit that, back then, I spent some lonely evenings occasionally cheering up my bachelorhood a bit by visiting strip clubs. There, amid the tenderness of women who led you slowly through the darkness of the club, it was easy to forget everything and to believe, even if for a moment, that the world was full of gentleness and warmth.