Slightly lurid picture of Everything Salad there, but the only one I’ve got. Wait. Has it got some weird filter on it? Possibly. So, I was watching a picture of David Bowie flash up on the TV yesterday, all bony and glazed-eyed (him not me), and wondering why it is that I have always hated him. I mean, not him personally. I didn’t know him and am sure he was lovely – everyone says so and I believe them. But I never really liked the music (except for the obvious few that real fans probably hate – Changes, Modern Love….the easy ones to like), they aren’t coming on my desert island, and I’ve always found his face too hideous even to look at. This occurred to me. He doesn’t like me. Aloof. Distant. Other worldly. He doesn’t beg for our love in the way that Elvis did, the way most singers do. His seduction (at least in public) is the type I hate most – “I am really fantastic and I don’t give a shit about you.” A lot of people love that. I hate that. How is that attractive? I don’t know. It isn’t. I want someone in this world to show some vague flicker of interest in me (by the way, this is not going well as a goal so far). It’s the same as people who like cats. They always say; “They’re so cool. They just don’t give a shit about you.” Right. Okay. Cool. “Dogs are so pathetic because they love you so much. So needy.” Right. Okay. Cool. I want to be adored! I’m needy! I need to be bounded up to and loved. And I want my celebrity to love me, to need me, to ask me to love them. This was my David Bowie epiphany. I know everyone will hate this.
I had a patient who cancelled because she’s too sad to talk to anyone. I wrote an email saying she doesn’t have to talk. That I’ll be here during her session time if she changes her mind at any point during her hour (that mean 50 minute hour) and we can just sit here if she likes. That spending time with someone (albeit on Skype) with someone who is thinking about you and with you can be really helpful. Sounds so unconvincing, doesn’t it? So many people feel like they have to keep talking to the therapist, that they have to feel vaguely sociable to go to their session. But it’s your space and you’re allowed to sit there in silence, fall asleep (there’s a great Stephen Grosz chapter about a sleeping patient) or be rude and aggressive. It’ll get interpreted (“You can’t find any words today,” “You want me to watch over you while you sleep,” “You seem angry today” or whatever) but you’re allowed to do it.
Here is my recipe. Find all the food in the house. If it needs cooking, cook it. Put it all on a plate with lemon juice and salt on it. Eat. I make this all the time.
It’s not as good without: toasted nuts, spring onions or crispy fried salted onions, crunchy fried garlic, a big handful parsley (I can’t be bothered to chop parsley. I mean, why?).
It’s good with any combination of these: spinach, watercress, asparagus (cooked very briefly, still crispy), chopped peppers, beetroot, lettuce, sugar snap peas or green beans (blanched), peas, fried halloumi in chilli, crumbled feta, boiled eggs, crispy bacon, baked, grilled or fried salmon, prawns fried in garlic, fried mushrooms, butter beans or any canned beans either raw or fried, new potatoes, a handful of cooked pasta, rice, chopped apple. You get the picture.
Therapy via Skype or email: email@example.com