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all this therapy crap

Alice and Maeve talk beside the pool, late evening:

Alice: Do you have brothers and sisters?
Maeve: [moves hair off face]
Maeve: What is it, Alice?
A: I just ...I know so little about you. It seems unfair.
M: Unfair to whom?
A: Both of us.

Maeve: You want to know was I abandoned by my mother or abused by my father or beaten up by my brothers? You wanna know what happened to make me this way?
A: I just want to know about you. You know all about me ...

Maeve: What I object to in all this therapy crap is the idea that saying it out loud is somehow going to make all the horrible details of your life less horrible. That all this fucking sharing brings catharsis. And that for example if you know my father left my mother when I was 2 and a half, and screwed every woman he could get his hands on in our hometown for years afterwards, and my older brothers locked him in a closet once to keep him from thumping on me and he broke one of their arms when he got out ---- you will be able, first of all to understand why I do what I do and second of all explain it to me? As if I couldn't ?? ??

Alice: Is it true?
M: For fuck's sake, Alice, let's just swim!!

I dived under and started swimming, the way she had, back and forth between her legs. My mind was racing with the information she'd given me: I tried to picture her parents. On the floor of the pool I snaked a figure eight, swimming sideways and twisting around each leg. When I was halfway through my second pass, something was wrong: the pool got suddenly bright. I surfaced: all the lights were on and the night nurse was staring at us.

I didn't have time to feel ashamed, the two of us swimming nude. The night nurse was businesslike, not angry: she brought us towels, two apiece. She woke no one as she escorted us to our rooms; she told us to report to our teams tomorrow, they would have things to say.

After she left us in our separate rooms, Maeve tapped at my door. I was afraid to open it and afraid to keep her out. I hissed through the crack:

Maeve, will you stop!! You're going to get us killed. Right after they kick us out, they'll strangle us !!
Maeve: I can't sleep alone tonight.

She shouldered her way in and flipped herself into my single bed. And we slept, {like a couple of spent teenage lovers.

For about ten minutes ...}

============

:Stephanie Grant, "The Passion of Alice", (c)1995 [excerpt]

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