Well he wasn't always like that of course Sonia says sometimes he might take off on one of his moods but never like this and she looks at her husband Henry and he looks at her and there is something about the way he looks that unsettles her not the look he used to give but something deeper as if he were searching her soul as if had discovered something darker within her and she says why to him? no answer comes the psychiatrist sits and stares and writes notes and has that aloofness that come with his profession I mean she continues he's had his times and they were bad times but not like now her husband looks beyond her at the painting on the wall of the psychiatrist’s office a Mondrian he thinks pulling from the mixed images as words and sounds filter through him reminding him of that Mondrian he'd seen in London with his son never forgotten that never and it was a hot day he recalls the Thames the people passing the boats on the river you see doctor she says how he just sits and stares and how he is silent he was never this silent before her husband takes in the thin frame around the picture how no dust has collected and even if it had he suspects some cleaner is employed to wipe off dust and dirt which may have collected and another thing his wife says is that he would always shave and never have a beard or moustache as he does now the psychiatrist puts the pen in his mouth his eyes are dark like overripe red plums and the clothes he wears she moans as if he were a youth again instead of a man of maturity and Henry muses on the way the psychiatrist's mouth is large the lips thick the sort of lips seen on camel he muses seeing his wife's mouth move her words lost to him her eyes wild looking like one temporarily mad as if her sanity had taken leave of her for a while he doesn't respond she says I talk to him and he says nothing I try oh I really do and all he does is stare or gaze at the Van Gogh painting his son bought him the one with funny stars and sky on it I don't that art of course but he does and he just stares at it the psychiatrist puts down his pen and links his fingers in to an imitation of a church and puts them over his stomach and reclines in his chair even his children have noticed the difference in him she says Henry notes that his wife has a ladder in her tights from knee to thigh showing pink skin through dark silk or is it not silk? he studies her leg the way it is placed there her skirt too short at least he thinks for a woman of her age all right on a young girl but on one like her god no and last week he lay in bed for several days and only got up to go answer the call of nature and then back to bed again the psychiatrist leans back his head at an angle like some bird studying a worm he notices the woman's chin how it moves and moves her lips and words and her nose too narrow it's a wonder how she breathes through that he thinks taking in her words trying to take a mental note of the words and the meaning they carry like pregnant whores and how long is this to go on Sonia says I can't cope much longer there must be an answer there must be something you can suggest Henry senses his bowels about to pass wind he holds in the cheeks of his buttocks stiffens himself looks at the his wife the legs touching at her knees her hands in her lap the fingers folding and unfolding over each other the red painted nails the nails trimmed neatly the red bright and sickly like a cut on a finger the wind is trying to ease out maybe if I hold it in it will go away he thinks looking at the Mondrian again taking in the lines and colours the blacks and reds and yellows and he holds it in but I know there must be something she says there in this bright big world there has to be something for him the psychiatrist sits forward and nods his head dislodging dandruff from his jacket maybe if we have him taken in to one of out clinics he says we can study him over a longer time and maybe come to some diagnosis of his behaviour I have seen cases like your husband's before it is not unique Sonia feels the need to urinate she knows and her bladder is not what it was and how long is he going to speak why doesn't he say something to conclude this session if he doesn't soon then I’ll have to stand up and leave before I wet myself and his fine chair Henry likes the Mondrian he wishes he had a Mondrian it would make him feel better he could have it in his room up on the wall where he could study it as he studies the Van Gogh his son bought him how do you think your husband would respond to time in one of our clinics? he would be well looked after and it would give you time to get yourself together again the psychiatrist says his fingers meeting at the tips like small fat Buddhas head to head Sonia's knees are so tight together that they begin to ache her bladder is full it is about to explode about to soak the fine chair sorry she says standing up I must go I can't wait any longer and she runs from the room her legs stiff her buttocks shifting side to side Henry wants the Mondrian wants a place of comfort a place to hide.
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