The man formerly known as the Smallest Man in the World half expected to be overwhelmed with a rush of joy the moment he shrank to nothing, but he didn’t. Maybe he was too tired; he hadn’t had much sleep around that time, for the usual reasons.
One day he embarked, experimentally-like, on an expensive course of the sort of therapy and non-self-improvement (as opposed to self-improvement and self-non-improvement) that he more typically enjoyed making fun of. Complete with various inner children.
The shadow, though, was the central item, and he was fascinated with that concept (cause the shadow, you know, knows) so he figured, you only live once, and it’s only money, right?
He was the only guy at the first seminar. He was okay with that, although he suspected that since being a guy was one of his issues, it might not have been bad were there a couple other guys around.
It went fine, though.
He was a new person afterwards.
Here was his rush of joy, baby.
Everyone told him the bags under his eyes were gone, he looked energetic, ten pounds lighter and five years younger.
Or five pounds lighter and ten years younger. Or twice as young.
Various people said different things. One said he looked as if he’d just been to the barber.
He knew this condition wouldn’t last but hoped to preserve at least some of it. During the course, he realized he would be unable to draw cartoons in the future since his cartoons were rooted in self-deprecation, sarcasm, cynicism, that kind of thing.
You can laugh or you can feel, someone said.
And the condition did fade, but not entirely and he had learned things and had food for thought and met delightful people.
Thing is, no matter how much it costs, or how little, you have to do the work.
You have to go through the shit, someone said. Someone else said the same thing, except they said pain.
He came to realize the therapist had his number.
She had his fucking number, baby. She saw through him.
Three things, in fact: she had his number, she knew she had his number, and she thought she had his number.
Thinking you have someone’s number is an unlikeable thing. It’s a form of unlikeable cockiness and presumption and a little patronizing. Unfortunately for the person whose number is being had, them actually having your number cancels that out. And knowing you have someone’s number is simply a value-free knowledge of fact.
The MFKATSMITW was used to therapists who kept you coming back for more talking, not therapists who gave you fucking homework. Not therapists who said, ok, look, this is your problem, now do this, and it works.
He was not used to that at all.