Fall Children (prologue)

August 16th, 2012.
Los Angeles, California.

The shrink’s office looks just as I always thought one would look.
                Reclining leather couch for the patient (that’s me) to lay back on, arms folded across their chest, or fidgeting with their hands, expensive looking office chair for the doc. Room decorated with impressionist style paintings (originals not prints), numerous pot plants dotted about the place, looking like they have been shipped straight from the Amazon rain forest – or what is left of it. Seriously, this room is straight out of a movie, and I should know – I spend a lot of time in front of the tube.
                But all clichés aside, the place is oddly comforting. The late afternoon sunlight is  coming through the west windows and pooling on the polished wooden floorboards in golden puddles. The air holds the faint scent of top quality cologne and furniture polish, hinting at some kind of order. And order is good.
                The doc gestures for me to take my position on the couch, and I comply. He takes a thick pad from his rosewood desk, then sits on the office chair and crosses one leg over the other. He absentmindedly pushes his glasses back into position with a wrinkled index finger, and retrieves a gilded fountain pen from the pocket of his tweed jacket. He gives his watch a fleeting glance, and our first session officially begins.
                The doc starts out with the expected starter questions: what’s my age? (28), what’s my occupation? (none), is this my first time seeing a therapist? (yes, unless you count Dr Jack Daniel’s – he doesn’t laugh at my attempt at a joke), how much do I drink? (alot), am currently taking any medication? (yes), what? (Xanax), how long have you been prescribed the drug? (a good while), can you be more specific? (hell, I don’t know. Five years I guess), are you currently in a relationship? (no), sex life? (apart from Mrs Palmer and her five daughters?), you get the picture.
                He then switches the leg he has folded over the other, and we get down to the heart of the matter: why did you come to seek my help?
                I smile, and ask if it’s okay to smoke (he nods, and gets a clean ashtray from a desk drawer). I thank him, and take my Camels from the pocket of my jeans. I strike a match, hold it to the tip of the cigarette, and drop it into the ashtray to burn out.
                I take a long drag, such the rich smoke into my lungs, and exhale slowly, letting the smoke drift lazily towards the ceiling fan.
                And I begin my story.