ICP #22 | On seeking treatment

I liked her straight away.

She wasn’t even wearing sports clothes like I thought she would be. She had Docs on and there were rips in her jeans. She moved her denim jacket from the back of the chair so I could put mine on it.

She asked me how I’d found her. She smiled when I got my left confused with my right and said, That’s why I’m here.

As she pushed on my joints she asked where I was from in England and told me about her small hometown in New Zealand. As she twisted my leg we talked about where we’d lived in Auckland and Melbourne and about losing our accents.

She showed me a plastic model of a knee and let the names of its parts trip off her tongue while I nodded and thought about ligaments. While I nodded and thought about how I’d hated the word ‘cartilage’ since that girl in my brother’s class at primary school accidentally knelt on a drawing pin.

While she massaged my deep tissue I talked about going home for Christmas and she told me about the gay clubs she goes to with her brother. I talked about work-that-you-love vs work-that-pays-the-bills and she told me about her actor mates who can’t afford to live in Sydney any more.

As she stuck needles in my thigh we talked about Trump.

During the gentle spasming of my muscles we talked about male privilege, then white privilege, then checking your privilege. We talked about the pitfalls of traditional gender roles in heterosexual relationships and how her and her girlfriend don’t have that problem.

We talked about the inevitable power imbalance that comes from the decision to have a child. And whilst she taped up my knee she assured me that acknowledgement of the problem was the first step to finding a solution.

As I pulled on my shoes she leant casually against the bed and scheduled my next appointment on her phone.

I said, Thanks for that.
And she said, Thanks for the chat.
And I said, Yeah, you too.
And she said, It won’t hurt when you walk anymore.


A version of this post was sent by email on the 26th February 2017 as part of Internet Care Package.

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