Week of May 8th, 2022: “Change of state, not location.”
for Jeanie, the greatest jeopardy player I ever knew…
Meet Stanley Seven.
Stanley was born on the 7th day of July, the seventh month, at seven past seven in the evening, the seventh birth of the day on the seventh floor of the Presbyterian hospital in lower Manhattan. Stanley, an unemployed writer, with high anxiety and a penchant for drunken paycheck riverboat gambling, suffered from a lingering fear of abandonment, possibly stemming from a forgotten turbulent childhood, and was prone to intermittent periods of emotionally volatile outbursts followed by periods of intense emotional reconciliation.
Stanley had a girlfriend, a beautiful girl whom he loved very much. However, Stanley had a problem— Stanley’s aforementioned girlfriend, the marvelously enchanting and incredibly beautiful Lucy Lathrop of Washington, D.C., was rapidly approaching a time in her life when her social status as an up and coming primer junior legal associate in the field of Federal Antitrust regulatory expansion would mean that she could no longer afford to attach herself to the non-strategic whims of a stumbling, unemployed writer, poetic as he may try to be.
Stanley was keenly aware of these developments, in fact it had been the source of much of his recent stress. He was caught, he feared, in a self-reinforcing feedback loop of perpetual negativity: he wanted to write for Lucy but he needed her for his inspiration in order to write, but she would only be interested in being his inspiration after he had written something of which she could be proud, unless he could first find some way to write something that would inspire each of them enough to rekindle their love, and on and on it went until infinity.
In order to break this cycle, Stanley began to see a therapist, a renowned and well-known licensed psychotherapist by the name of Diana Jalapeño, A.B.P.P. — and yes, she knows what your thinking — Diana Jalapeño, with her flowery blonde hair and clear blue eyes-her inviting smile and cat like stair, she had heard all the jokes before about her last name being Jalapeño because she’s “hot.” — Not that slights like that ever bothered someone like Dr. Diana Jalapeño, her singular focus was always her clients, she cared more about her patients than anyone else, she always kept their time as her own and never allowed any external distractions to come between her and them, no matter how hard or pressing the issue.
Every Monday Stanley would step inside into the downtown New York City Office, show his I.D. to the desk clerk, who always greeted him politely and said, “nice to see you again Mr. Seven,” and then took the elevator up to the seventh floor and enter inside into the office to see Dr. Jalapeño.
On this day, Stanley came into the office in a particularly upset state and Dr. Jalapeño asked him to take a deep breath and recount some of the things that had been leading up to his frustration.
“I guess I’ve been having frustration because I’m having intimacy issues with Lucy,” he confessed. “She doesn’t seem interested in me any more, I don’t know how I can make it work, she doesn’t feel like she use to,” he lamented regretfully.
“That’s normal to feel if you’re not having your needs meet,” Dr. Jalapeño assured him. “Have you expressed this to Lucy? Is she aware of how you feel?” she inquired and then checked her notes from previous sessions.
“That’s just it Dr. Jalapeño,” he confided. “I think she is aware. I think she just might be kind of over everything…over us,” he said only half-accepting the truth he had stated.
Dr. Jalapeño folded her left leg over the top of her right, pointing the dagger shaped toe end of her heel toward Stanley’s direction and offered him the following words of advice: “Stanley, you’ve been trying to finish writing a story for two years, you have very laudable goals but you set them too broadly, focus on the present — on the now, remain grateful for all that you have not what you don’t. You said you think Lucy is going to leave you — but she hasn’t, enjoy the time you still have, stop focusing on what you might not have in the future. That’s what love is all about anyway.”
Stanley looked on in awe but not surprise, for he had become to familiar with the wisdom imparted by listening to the sage advice and wise words of Dr. Jalapeño. And so it was at just that moment that Stanley realized that he had already started writing an idea a few months ago that he had never taken the time to fully develop, and he realized just then that now would be as good a time as any to go dust off the project and try to revitalize something alongside the symbolism of restoring his relationship with Lucy. He thanked Dr. Jalapeño, who reminded him to do some research into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs right before the alarm clock to her cell phone went off, and she stated “Our time is up for today but we can continue next Monday,” as she walked alongside him to the entrance and ushered him out through the door, locking it behind him as she entered back inside.
Meet Billy Seven.
Billy was born on the 7th day of July, the seventh month, at seven past seven in the evening, the seventh birth of the day on the seventh floor of the Presbyterian hospital in lower Manhattan. Billy was a Marine Corps veteran who served in the infantry, a grunt who missed the camaraderi more than the combat and who currently worked as a telecoms operator for one of the financial market exchanges in New York City. Billy suffered from a variety of extreme psychological causes and conditions: alcoholism, nepotism, buddhism, bipolar disorder, dyslexia, agoraphobia, hypochondriacism, and many, many others that for now will remain unnamed.
Billy was not ashamed of his disorders, his work with Dr. Jalapeño had taught him that there was no weakness in seeking help for things we can’t do by ourselves, and it was through their work together that Billy had come to learn that sustainable emotional strength can only truly be found through organic healing.
Billy checked in every Tuesday, always following the same routine. First he would step inside into the downtown New York City Office, show his I.D. to the desk clerk, who always greeted him politely and said, “nice to see you again Mr. Seven,” and then took the elevator up to the seventh floor and enter inside into the office to see Dr. Jalapeño.
Usually when he arrived to see Dr. Jalapeño, he sat and waited, while he waited his mind would often turn to negative thoughts. Billy’s current job was not conducive to positive mental health, as Billy was subjected all day long to short-tempered financial brokers and sellers scantly in need of the truly time draining consumption required by speaking to people with polite kindness and manners. The job required a lot of patience — which Billy had displayed in ample swaths over large periods of time, however as day-after-day the calls continued to flood in to his que, Billy began to slide into a rung of depression-the kind where you just exist and float through life, never really stopping to explore and find things it is that actually make this world worth living, the kind where you just kind of stay stagnant, just exist until one day you don’t. That’s the job Billy had.
That morning when Billy came in, Dr. Jalapeño was already seated in anticipation of his arrival. “Nice to see you again Billy,” she said, her smile a radiant glowing beacon of hope, inspiration, and kindness; as ever, as always. “What would you like to discuss today?”
“I’ve been feeling pretty depressed,” he coughed up rather sheepishly, his eyes fixed onto the floor.
“There’s nothing to be ashamed about Billy, we have been over this before,” she reminded him kindly. “It’s perfectly natural to feel down sometimes, but tell me, what does ‘depressed’ feel like to you?” she asked him as she prepared her notebook to jot down blurbs.
“I don’t know I guess I’m tired,” he said searching his memory for the feeling. “Listless? Kind of like drifting I suppose, do you know what I mean? Does that make sense?”
“Makes sense,” said Dr. Jalapeño encouragingly, gently suggesting for him to explore his thought further, on his own time line, at his own level of comfort.
“I guess I feel lost at work — like I’m not sure if there’s a path for me moving forward and I don’t know whether I should leave now or just wait it out and see what happens?” he asked uncertain of which answer was correct path.
“Fight or flight,” said Dr. Jalapeño, reminding him of the emotional response triggers on which she had coached him in previous sessions.
“Well what should I do? Should I fight or should I leave?” he asked again seeming uncertain.
“What do you think you should do Billy?” she asked him, prompting Billy to shrug his shoulders in casual indifference to his own existence. “Well Billy, I know that whether you stay or whether you go, you are going to keep trying to find an answer that works best for you, because you are not someone who will rest until you are content that you haven given your all to everything that you do,” she told him confidently as her dazzling eyes admired him from afar.
“I have been doing the breathing exercises more this week, they have been helping I think, and trying to remain more present in the moment, that as well,and the sex addiction has been getting much better too,” he said, his disposition suddenly turning cheerful.
“That’s wonderful news! It really is!” said Dr. Jalapeño as the alarm on her iPhone began to signal the end of their lesson. “Unfortunately our time is up for today but we can continue next Tuesday” she said as she rose from her chair, walked over to entrance and locked the office door before Billy had even gotten up from the couch. Suddenly, Billy looked up from the couch to see Dr. Jalapeño straddling herself on top of him, her soft hands and slender shoulders gently gliding their way across his chest as she removed the satin, cardigan sweater that sat atop the vast expanse of her broad chest, the touch of her hands gentle graze as she ran her fingers down across his corduroy pants sent a shimmering chill down Billy Seven’s spine as Dr. Jalapeño drew her lips in closer and whispered softly into his ear: “Your time for this week is over Billy. Our time is now,” she reminded him as their love making spread itself out and flowed out onto the same therapy couch where Billy Seven had just moment’s before revealed some of his deepest and darkest secrets, fears, and insecurities.
Yes, Billy Seven fucked Dr. Diana Jalapeño, she’s hot remember…
Conhecer Paulo Sete.
Meet Paulo Seven.
Paulo was born on the 7th day of July, the seventh month, at seven past seven in the evening, the seventh birth of the day on the seventh floor of the Presbyterian hospital in lower São Paulo, Brazil. Paulo was a Brazilian Bee keeper, and a vegan, which caused him much personal conflict, as even though he knew his bee keeping practices were organically grown and sustainably sourced, many in the vegan community still frowned upon any worker bee honey production and let him know it on their many chats and blog posts. The stress from all the bee’s and all the vegans was too much, Paulo couldn’t focus on what he really cared about, his music. The anxiety and restlessness he was suffering under from all of this stress had stopped Paulo from performing the music that he loved to perform with his band every weekend at the many bars and nightclubs along the deep blue watered coast of São Paulo.
Every Wednesday Paulo would catch a flight from São Paulo into JFK, hail a cab into downtown Manhattan, step inside into the downtown New York City Office, show his I.D. to the desk clerk, who always greeted him politely and said, “nice to see you again Mr. Seven,” and then took the elevator up to the seventh floor and enter inside into the office to see Dr. Jalapeño.
This week when Paulo arrived Dr. Jalapeño was running a few minutes late so Paulo sat down on the couch and thought about the songs he wished he could summon the confidence and energy to perform with his band this upcoming weekend. His mind was began to race with trepidation about his ability to deliver on his upcoming performance when Dr. Jalapeño entered into the room, slightly disheveled, slightly frazzled.
“Tudo bem Você Dr. Jalapeño? Everything ok?” he asked, strumming his hands to the rhythm of the music he was playing in his head.
“Sim Paulo, vou bem, como vai?” she asked — because it’s Dr. Jalapeño, of course she spoke perfect, fluent Brazilian Portuguese!
“I’m alright thank you Doctor” Paulo answered, his mind still too distracted by trying to recount the order of the set list from his last show to notice the unusually crumpled nature of Dr. Jalapeño rumpled blouse.
“I was up late last night with a patient,” she said noticing his attention and smoothing out the crumpled edges of her blouse in a dignified manner-how else could an angel such as Dr. Jalapeño adjust their posture?
“How are things going with the band? Are you still having any performance issues?” Dr. Jalapeño inquired generally.
“Sim, said Paulo, “Yes, Dr. Jalapeño I still am, I go to play the music and the words come out of my voice but the soul is just not there. I don’t know what else to do? I’ve tried everything I can think of to bring the sound back home.”
“Well maybe you should try everything you haven’t thought of then?” Dr. Jalapeño suggested.
“How can I try something I haven’t thought of?” Paulo asked her confused.
“Make a list of things you’ve never thought of-start with the first thing you think of that you’ve never thought of and choose something from that list to try,” said Dr. Jalapeño with a soundness of logic that seemed all the more certain because it came from the sound of her voice.
“So just try something I’ve never done before?” Paulo asked aloud, again uncertain about the soundness of this idea.
“Dialectical behavioral therapy Paulo,” Dr. Jalapeño said, reminding him about the chapter on expanding and trying new things she had suggested he read the previous Wednesday.
“That’s right,” said Paulo remembering the conversation they had had the week before. “It’s not a loss of something — it’s an opportunity to try something new!” he said with excitement, the spark of passion reignited within his eyes.
“Exactly!” said Dr. Jalapeño with matched excitement — Dr. Jalapeño always took as much joy in her patients successes as she did of her many own; her humility and humble nature matched only by her sweet mercy and heavenly grace.
“I think that just like the adult jataí bee as it reduces it’s flight speed in order to assess it’s direction, so too shall I now reflect inward and allow the music to return to me before I expand back out into the world,” Paulo said, his confidence restored.
“That’s truly wonderful Paulo!” Dr. Jalapeño said warmly. “Unfortunately our time is up for today but we can continue next Wednesday,” said Dr. Jalapeño as she walked him out to the doorway and ushered him outside, locking it behind him as she entered back into the office.
Meet Regina Seven.
Regina was born on the 7th day of July, the seventh month, at seven past seven in the evening, the seventh birth of the day on the seventh floor of the Presbyterian hospital in lower Manhattan. Regina, a bookkeeper at an antique furniture store in the east village by day, a show tune singing reincarnation of Liza Minnelli dressed as Abraham Lincoln shouting lyrics off the corner of fifth and twelfth avenue at night, Regina had a split personality as both intro and extroverts, and the physical tension of the personality conflict between this duality had resulted in a long term onset of heavy and unbearable chest pain that had thus far stood resistant to improvement.