Wonder

Impossible. Impossible things. An x-ray cat. An old, flying hat. A practical piece of decorative clothing. An affordable boat that dabbled in transforming. Happiness.

Happiness Alice?’

‘No, I mean yes, happiness for me.’

Raindrops on pieces of silver, that were wiped away, and taken quicker than we could clean our drawers. A hand-painted dresser. I swirled my finger around a particularly hidden scratch on the back that I alone might only be knowledgable about. Sold. For the next few days it all had to go. Years of gathering and collecting valuables, and yet they could all be taken away in hardly longer than a most unpleasant afternoon. It was that I didn’t believe in happiness. It simply didn’t exist, and if my mother’s mood was any measure – it couldn’t be brought on again in any sort of hurry.

Still he didn’t let the question naturally derail, and pressed further still.

‘What does happiness feel like, try to remember…close your eyes…well go on-‘

‘Happiness,’ I sighed twice.

‘Let it brim to the surface like cream, let the memory float up, there you go, now tell me what you see.’

‘I see myself, a young girl crying, but everyone is smiling – even Mrs Peterson who mumbled, I told her mother she wasn’t the singing kind.’

‘Why are you happy?’

‘I’m not, I never have been.’

‘Alice?’

‘Oh ok, let me see. I suppose once. There was a Queen who wished to have my head and a furry white tail.’

‘Your fantasies do not count,’ he said.

‘And who’s to say they don’t. Who is to say they are not real.’

‘I am a qualified-‘

‘A qualified listener. Now hear me. I am not insane. And why should I be? Because of my adventures. I say I wonder if you have ever had happiness, and if so your jealousy of mine is not very becoming in therapist or any person really,’ I said.

‘Alice.’

‘Quiet. I will have my tea now and see to you next week.’

‘Ok but do not get lost.’

‘Thank you Mr White,’ I said as I picked up my coat.

I left Cottontail Hospital, and returned to my mother with a hope that her moods had vastly improved.

 

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