Another session with Dr E. As I sat down in his consulting room I wondered how much had been spent so far with regards to this supposed treatment. A few thousand pounds no doubt and I imagined that both Dr E and Dr O would be more than content to continue these consultations given their lucrative nature. The cynic in my nature pondered that the financial rewards were such that they would string out this course of treatment for as long as they could. That did not concern me. I was not paying and I usually enjoyed my sparring with the good doctors. It entertained me. However, as I ruminated on whether the lure of filthy lucre was what motivated Dr E and Dr O, I realised that they at least gave the impression of wanting to help me. I know from the many sessions it was as much about me gaining awareness and insight in order to make informed decisions about what I wanted, rather than a prescriptive approach from these head doctors but I realised that they actually did care. They wanted to help me. This of course was the main reason why I was content to keep turning up and being subjected to their questions; these two examiners of HG exhibited empathic traits and thus they proved attractive to me. My tolerance for their repeated probing of areas of my life that I preferred to keep shuttered and closed arose because they provided me with the attention that is so vital to my existence. I also knew that there was an admiration there for me as well. It was evident in the way the pair looked at me, especially Dr O. I knew, as academics, they admired the way I was so candid about the way I behaved. I could see how they admired the way I had been created. I knew they did not like it, how does one like something like me given the abuse I dole out as freely as a farmer broadcasting seed, but they had that deep-seated admiration for this efficient machine that had been stripped of all unnecessary emotions and super-charged with certain traits in order to function at maximum effectiveness. Accordingly, even the doctors were providing me with the thing I needed and our relationship might continue ad infinitum. They continued to be fascinated by me and they desired to help me. I, in turn, was content to engage in this relationship as it provided something that I required. The arrangement was a mutually satisfying one, even when the doctors strayed into territories that were best left alone.
“Hello HG how are you?” asked Dr E. I hesitated. He did not normally enquire as to my state of being. Others would trot out such a question rarely interested in the answer but merely performing a social nicety. Dr E did not ask such a question and for him to now do so put me on guard.
“I am excellent well, thank you for your kind enquiry,” I replied with a smile. I did not enquire after his well-being; I was not interested nor did I have to feign such interest.
“Good. Now, straight down to business, who are you?”
“H G Tudor.”
“Indeed you are. Anything else?”
I paused. I see Dr E we were going deep today were we? Very well, let’s flush out where you want to go.
“The question of who I am is something that depends on the context,” I began. Dr E commenced his note-taking.
“How does one define oneself is what I suspect you are really driving at.” I looked to Dr E for a sign of affirmation but there was none.
“Do I have an idea of who I am? How is that arrived at? Do I know who I am or do I look to others to define me? Am I an independent identity that has been shaped by my own decisions or am I a product of others and their experiences? Am I aware of who I am or have I yet to discover all that I am?”
“All interesting questions but let me return to my initial question,” interrupted Dr E, “who are you?”
“Who am I? I am many things to many people. Friend, lover, boss or confidant are labels which are applicable to me. Conqueror, seducer, victim and defiler are others which are equally applicable. Charismatic, urbane, intelligent, interesting, stimulating, successful and alluring are also traits that come together to create who I am.”
“I see. Would you say therefore that you are confident that you know who you are?”
“Do you think that if I asked this question of your family and friends, your colleagues or even my secretary that they would give similar answers to those you have provided me with?”
“Liars lurk within the ranks of those you have described and they have nothing but ill-will towards me. Their perfidy is so great I can smell its stench as I sit here. By all means ask but you will be given nothing but a litany of lies. Insults and assaults on my good nature.”
“So all of them would insult you?”
“No, not all, there are those who know me for what I am.”
“Might it be said that they all know you for who you are?” pressed Dr E.
“No. There are those who have an agenda to topple me and it is they that think they know me but they have constructed an idea of what I am and it is a false one that is used to serve their nefarious purposes. Others recognise my greatness and they are content to embrace it.”
“But could it not be the case that these categories of people just happen to know different elements of you. Your admirers know the H G that is generous, interesting and charming. Those who you regard as detractors perhaps know a different part of you, the defiler and conqueror that you made reference to, this causing them to regard you in a less positive light?” asked Dr E.
“No. The defiler and conqueror are artifices created by those who seek to harm me. Let them do so and I will be that which they think I am. It is no more than they deserve. They create such a monstrosity through their perfidy and unwarranted attacks, so let them know the beast, let them feel its hot and fetid breath in their faces, the rake of its claws against their yielding skin and the full horror of its power on their being. They create it, let them endure it,” I spat, the mere consideration of those who would do me wrong causing my fury to ignite.
“Could you not possess all of those attributes? Could it not be the case you have them all and people see some over others?”
“No,” I said firmly. Dr E nodded and fell silent.
“What would you think if I said that I think you are hiding from yourself?”
I switched my gaze from Dr E and focussed on a picture on the wall. Not this, don’t start this again. Don’t let him gain a foothold H G. Repel the boarder, eject the intruder, cast him out.
“I do not hide.”
“But might you not realise that you are doing so?”
“Could it be that you do not know who you are?”
“Could it be that you do know but would prefer not to contemplate it?”
“Is this line of discussion making you uncomfortable?”
I shifted my gaze back to Dr E. Go on, keep trying to batter through my defences, you will not succeed. I know your game Dr E. I know what you are trying to suggest but I am not going there.
“Very well. Let us go back to how you regard yourself then, elaborate on that,” he invited.
The sense of relief washed over me but I gave no outward sign of its effect. I smiled, elated to have rejected this probing once again and excited by the prospect of talking about my favourite subject in greater detail; me.