Ricky Langstrom has problems. He is an introvert who has it very difficult to talk to women. Suddenly, he finds a girl at the park, under a tree, and she talks to him! They talk for hours, and then she goes away. He doubts he ever met her. He thinks he is crazy, so he visits the psychologist..., and then he understands his real problems have just started.
This is my fourth short story written directly in English,
the first one being The singer's complaint,
the second Lust and the third one Sloth,
both in a larger project called The
Seven Deadly Sins. I hope you like it...,
I finish it. I am now in the process to write it, and I hope I will
finish it after a few months. If you would like to be told about its
let me know a word on it. I finished writingt it on October 23rd
2014 at ten to three in the afternoon, but published
it in Amazon on February 9th 2015.
As soon as I entered her office I saw it was very neat: everything
to be in its place, the computer was a small laptop as large as a
tablet, and it was on and ready to type. Only the
psychologist was out of place. She was looking through the window,
her back to me.
down, Mr. Langstrom”, she said. “I'll be with you in a few minutes”.
“Hello, Dr. Burns”.
“Oh, let's not be that formal. You can call me Sam”.
“OK, Sam. Rick here”.
“Just a minute, Rick. I like having a few minutes meditation between patients, just to reset my mind, you know”.
“Well, of course, Sam”.
“Meanwhile you can organize your thoughts. Use that notebook and pen to write your main points. The ones you want us to work on”.
could not believe it. I do not understand a lot about pens, but that
fountain pen had a white star at the top. It meant it was a
the most expensive fountain pen in the world. You don't lend that to
stranger. Not if you are not looking. I could grab it and run away
it. Maybe it was part of her healing method.
uncapped it and wrote on that notebook:
finished writing, she was sitting on her chair, staring me.
can't be true!”, I exclaimed.
“Hello again, Rick. What can't be true?”
“It's you! I met you at the park! I came to the psychologist because I could not take you out of my mind!”
“That's interesting, Rick. Now you calm down, will you? I can assure you that I had never met you at a park or anywhere else. Please, will you write your name on the corner of that note book you are holding and give it back to me?”
as she said, and she gave me a broad smile:
“And the pen, please”.
I put my hand on my shirt pocket and felt, embarrassed, the Montblanc beside my cheap Pilot Vball pen. I cannot be without a pen, and I always have one on me, and so I developed the automatic movement to put my pen on the pocket of my shirt as soon as I finish writing. So as I finished writing this time, I put the Montblanc in its place, without realizing that, for once, it was not my pen.
very sorry”, I said, “I always write with my own pen, it is a habit
to put it back in my pocket”.
“Oh, don't worry, Rick. You don't look like a pincher at all. I understand. It often happens to me, too”.
For a few minutes she read what I had written and underlined a few words here and there. Then she took another Montblanc, a thinner white one, and wrote for a couple of minutes something in red ink.
Rick”, she said when she finished, “Apparently you loved you mother
lot. So much that there is no place left for other women in your
“Well, yes, that may be so”.
“Have you ever had a girlfriend?”
“Not exactly. I have some friends, but I have never made love”.
“Why is that?”
“I haven't met the right girl, I suppose”.
“Or they may not have found the right an in you, Rick. Have you ever thought the problem is not in them?”
“I am sure it is not”.
“I'll give you a set of cards, one after the other. You will tell me which ones you like best. Sincerely”.
She gave me about fifty cards, one after the other, as she had said. In every card there was a photo of a woman and a number. Their eyes and other features changed a lot. At the end I selected fifteen out of the fifty.
“Fifteen out of fifty”, she said after she counted them. “It is interesting. A brunette, two red-haired ones, seven blondes and five white haired...”
watched her, waiting for any verdict.
tell me”, she went on, “why you like them”.
I told her I liked some for their eyes, others for their hair, a few for their lips, and the rest for their forehead.
she added thoughtfully when I told her.
she typed something in her computer and after a few minutes she
printed a photo and gave it to me.
this your mother?”
I was startled: yes, the woman in that photo was my mother! How could she get it?
yes, it is. How did you know?”
“Apparently you look for your mom in every woman you meet, Ricky. Do I look like your mom, too?”
“Well..., I could not say that. But there is something in you..., you talk in the way she used to”.
“Uh huh. What about the eyes?”
“Your eyes are green. Hers were lighter than yours, but still green”.
“I can see”.
“And your chin is also like mum's”.
“OK. But this picture you are holding has nothing to do wih me, Ricky”.
“Ricky..., my mom used to call me that way. Nobody else does. It is strange you do”.
“Sorry, Rick. I didn't mean mean to sound too formal, that's why”.
“It's OK, Sam. I like bing called Ricky. Please, do so”.
“OK. But be aware that I am NOT your mom”.
“Yes, mom..., er, I mean, yes, Sam”.
smiled and then asked:
was your mom's name?”
“Well, that is a weird coincidence. Tell me about your sisters”.
“I have two sisters, Marilou and Ruth. They are a pest”.
“What do you mean by a pest?”
“Thy are selfish and quarrelsome. When we were kids they were always arguing and saying lies to my parents so that thy punished my brother and me, and when we came of age they tried to get my money and when they saw there ws none coming, they kept on arguing and talking badly at me”.
“Apparently you were not lucky with the women in your family”.
“No. That's why I never searched a wife, I guess”.
“So you looked for sex, only”.
“Not exactly. Well, I visited whore houses occasionally, but not regularly”.
“Tell me about your first time there”.
“It as a very young one. Maybe eighteen, probably 20. But she was an expert. I felt very embarrassed”.
“Do you think you did not do the right thing by going there?”
“At first I did, but later I considered that it is cheaper than paying for drinks for my girlfriends, maybe even dinner, and then be sent away with a thank you kiss”.
“Uh huh, you've got a point there. You know, social conventions are usually expensive for you boys".
“Well, if I were more successful with women I'd not mind at all. But so far at last I can keep my money with me”.
“I see”, she said, and went on writing on her notebook.
hadn't spoken for so long, but Sam never stopped writing. She still
kept on writing for over five minutes more.
last she stopped, looked at me, smiled and said very slowly, as if
she tried to think every single word:
Ricky..., it seems to me you were very deeply love with your mother
you are afraid you will not find her in any girl you meet”.
“Er..., yes, I guess that's correct...”
“Well, I'll tell you something: nobody is going to be like your mother. But you still can give love and affection to other women. Specially to the one who will bear your children”.
“Children! Who wants them?”
“That is a question for you to answer, Rick. Question yourself even if you don't, there is no problem for you. But if you do, you need a girl to share that child with”.
“So no child, no girl”.
“It's up to you. An understanding woman can help grow the child you have inside into an adult, Rick. People grow and though they don't forget their moms, they help other women be moms, to, so that new people have the luck you have to be alive”.
“The luck. I never thought it to be lucky to be alive”.
“Well, certainly life is the best gift you'll ever get. That's why you love your mum so much”.
“That brings us to our time: it is up, Ricky. Come back next month”.
“Uh huh very well, Sam. How much do I owe you?”
worry for that now. Just do this: every time you see a girl on the
street, a woman disregarding her age, think if you could have been a
good husband for her. Do not look for a good woman for you, but for
man inside you who could be good for the woman you meet. In 30 days
you'll tell me if you felt you'd be a good man for any of the ladies
you meet, and why”.
“OK. Now tell me your fees, please”.
“Usually my visit costs $200, but the first one is a courtesy of me to my new clients, so you must give me nothing. I'll see in a month, Ricky. Then you will be able to pay me $200 for next visit”.
“Oh, don't but me Rick. Good-bye”, she concluded her visit by standing up and shaking hands with me.
I stood up and went to the hall. There the secretary had opened the door for me and bade me farewell with a very nice smile. I doubted whether envisioning her as my wife, but I decided to leave homework for the day after.
For a month I practiced the exercise, and found I'd not be a good husband for any girl I saw, or any woman I 'd met before. Even those who I came across on the street seemed too much outside my reach.
A week after my visit to Dr. Burns I felt desperate, so I went back to her office, but there was nobody there. Even the plate with her name was not on the wall, outside. So I had to wait for tree weeks more to see her.