Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Tick Tock

All I ever heard was the clock in your office. Tick-Tock. I asked you about it, you made eye contact with me for the first time but only for a second. Long enough for me to be okay with you never doing it again.

The stroke of your pen on the prescription pad was loud but subtle compared to the ending I wrote for myself that ripped it to pieces. Sounds like music now- but sometimes nails on a chalkboard, or maybe that clock won’t shut up.

I remember looking at the couch in your office, I never sat there, but wondered if people actually did. I don’t know why I’m here. But I know it’s only fifteen minutes tops… and you can bet your ass that clock will join us for every fucking minute.

You had a white coat that hung on the door and degrees covering the walls. I remember thinking you didn’t deserve those. You never really mastered the most important skill for your field- but the thousands of dollars in those frames said otherwise. I said, “you are paid to care, but whether you do or not doesn’t effect your life in any way.” And why do you even have a clock in your office that ticks so loud, my mind thinks it’s playing war games. How do you not hear it?

You typed too much. Your office was dark and the computer screen lit up your face. It bothered me. All of it. Got under my skin like filth I’ll never be clean from.

and I wonder – if anyone ever flipped out in your office, made you work a little harder. Made you say a little more than “how are things this week?” Wonder if you ever got challenged enough to use the skills from those hard earned degrees – I just want you to send me away. But clearly the clock is dictating this whole session. Time.

isn’t it funny the way it’s always up, but never stops? It’s not gonna stop for anyone’s breaking. Everyone’s safe! Everyone’s fucked.

I wandered into this fog one day, seems like yesterday, but I closed my eyes, the clock kept ticking and that was a few years ago. I didn’t come here voluntarily. There’s a thick in the night that grabbed me like eyes and I’ve been here ever since.

I told you I quit my job. Your head moved like whiplash and your lips were moving with some dumb question that didn’t matter anyway- but I couldn’t hear you. The ticking. I hated it. It’s all I could hear- like it was mocking me and all the time I’ve wasted sitting here- trying to be okay- or trying to be anything. So that didn’t happen. What’s next, Nurse? Is there another miracle on that prescription pad promising to turn me normal. Figured as much. I left your office and never returned – It was the fog. I didn’t make it out- and honestly, I waited my whole life for this? I didn’t even talk about anything other than my $60,000 spending spree and how it made me happy- but only for a few minutes, and that’s why I kept doing it. And you asked if I was eating. You said it loud as I was coming in from the waiting room- I’m sure everyone heard. I took that question as a compliment, because I had gotten quite skinny and I was trained to believe that was beautiful. So yes… the anorexia was beautiful. And one day, it wasn’t anymore.

We never got to the deep stuff. The stuff you were supposed to work to pull out of me. I feel cheated. I figured with your hourly rate, you would be talking to me and all of my skeletons. But they never attended. That means you suck at your job. Which is why you have that stupid clock. And it’s not even hanging on the wall- it’s sitting on the top shelf. Who’s the crazy one?

I get it now. The clock was trying to tell me I was wasting my time. Lesson learned the hard way… over and out.

No one ever says good morning anymore,

because… well,

when’s the last time it was?

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


2 thoughts on “Tick Tock”

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