When you accidentally talk to yourself in front of the school psychiatrist:
It was the end of the day. I was tired. Annoyed by the amount of paper I’d been pushing in the past weeks to prepare for the close of the school year. Stressed by various sources, so I started talking to myself.
I can’t even keep a straight face while typing that.
I always talk to myself. It’s nothing novel. My brain tends to process things better if I’m able to vocalize them or write them down while they fall into place. Also, I think my brain enjoys making me look like a nut. Since writing tends to be highly inconvenient and impractical in most moments, I often talk to myself aloud. Sometimes too loudly. In public spaces. Where people might obviously overhear me.
I was scrambling to put in copies for the week’s lesson plans because I had already spaced last week and didn’t want to be a double slacker by forgetting again this week, but there were no pens for me to fill out the copy form with . The only thing lying around were some prehistoric Papermate pens, which the school keeps around in order to say they provide pens but everyone knows none of work since the ink dried up approximately the same time as raptor ovaries, and a stupid pencil.
Stupid, not because I don’t like pencils. They’re quite charming.
Excuse me, pencils.
Stupid only because even though it was the only viable option, it was of course, un-sharpened, and therefore useless.
“That makes me really upset!” I whispered-shouted, as the psychiatrist ambled in.
She gave me a slightly clinical sideways look and asked, “Hi, how are ya’?” as she made her way over to her mailbox.
“There’s no pens in here!” I said, trying to explain why she’d caught me in such a private moment of frustration. After all, I think most normal people just sigh or something when they’re annoyed in a public setting, not actually verbalize their emotion in such a literal fashion.
“I’m good, and you?” I added, realizing I’d only made it more awkward by ignoring formalities. It was bad enough I was so overly vexed by a missing set of writing utensils. Did I have to throw in clueless and rude too?
“Good, good,” she replied obligatorily, still looking me over.
I walked out into the main office to get something to write with, and also to end the interaction. I decided to snatch a pen off the receptionist’s desk without asking. Because that’s the BA and obviously logical way to punish the universe for letting me fall into a mildly uncomfortable predicament.
The school psychiatrist was gone by the time I returned to the copy room.
A part of me wondered if she thought I had been practicing some kind of coping mechanism that another psychiatrist had taught me in order to manage my emotions. Mindful vocalizations or something or other, I imagined it was called.
“No, no,” I wanted to tell her.
“I’m just naturally enough of a mess to have come up with that all on my own.”