Character Therapy

In the office of Dr Miles Benonico, a character is reclining on his sofa. This is her third session with the prominent therapist.

Dr: You seem to mention your author quite frequently.

Jo: She leaves me with no option.

Dr: Is that how you feel?

Jo: I think anybody would feel like that if they knew for certain that their whole life was being played by a puppeteer as if it was some kind of entertainment.

Dr: You sound like you resent her.

Jo: I don’t resent her… [sigh] Sometimes, though, I just feel a little underappreciated. And sometimes she gets these silly thoughts that circle around in her head for days and they eat away any noise I make to get attention.

Dr: So you’re saying she doesn’t give you enough attention?

Jo: [defensively] Sometimes… [folds arms] but I don’t mean that in a needy way. The problem is that she gets wrapped up in so much stuff and nonsense, because she’s worrying, that she forgets to write.

Dr: Doesn’t everybody get wrapped up sometimes? Do you?

Jo: [hesitantly] I’m not saying I don’t get wrapped up… but… but… sometimes life is more simple than you make it.

Dr: [raising eyebrow] Is that personal experience talking?


Jo: A little…

Dr: Would you care to elaborate?

Jo: She’d kill me off for sure if I did.

Dr: You seem to have a very bleak view of your author.

Jo: I think it’s because we sometimes need vacations from each other and we can’t get them.

Dr: Why not? Surely you could both switch off for a while?

Jo: She can only switch off a little bit and then she has this annoying gnawing sound that digs in, telling her she ought to do some writing.

Dr: Annoying gnawing sound?

Jo: Yeah. It’s like she feels guilty for taking a break or something. I’d leave her to it, but I live in this brain, you know? It’s like having constant noise pollution in reality.

Dr: Hmm…

Jo: Is ‘hmm’ good or bad?

Dr: It’s interesting.

Jo: What is?

Dr: You seem to have a lot of answers and know a lot of what is going on.

Jo: I do. It’s another annoying thing about her. She keeps telling me all that’s going to happen. I don’t have any surprises any more. It’s like my life has no meaning, if you can call it a life. [sigh]

Dr: Would you call it a life?

Jo: I’d call it a half life. I’m only half way to being alive and the rest of me is under her spell.

Dr: How do you mean?

Jo: I mean, it’s like she’s the real necromancer in all of this and I’m the clueless victim.

Dr: Well, I think that’s maybe our session ended for today. I’m sorry to cut your appointment so short, but we’ll schedule another soon. Just sort a time with my receptionist.

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