The Lady Doctor
William spoke of his "scars" –
which I thought showed remarkable insight –
and he tried to look down my blouse.
I let him look
though I could see he didn't understand
but he believed.
He called me Honey
and when I asked he said I was sweet.
I don't think he was joking.
29 June 1988
I’d never spoken to a psychiatrist or even a psychologist in 1988. They held the same kind of fascination as prostitutes though. I always thought they’d be interesting people to talk to. I’ve since been treated by four and they were all women. I was given the choice the last time. I could’ve had a man but I asked for a woman. I like talking to women. I don’t hate talking to men—men can be interesting—but most men I’ve met in real life tend to be one or two steps removed from me. They’re into sport and drink and roughhousing. I’ve never been a man’s man. I’ve never liked being around men like that which is hard because in Scotland in the seventies there were a lot of men like that. No one wrote poetry. No one read books their teachers didn’t make them read and mostly they skimmed them.
I’ve always enjoyed talking to mental health professionals. I’ve never found them especially helpful but that’s neither here nor there. Where exactly William is at this point I keep vague. Remember we don’t even know what age he is. Maybe he’s a stray who’s been picked up by the police who’ve realised there was something not quite right about him and decided to get him checked out. It doesn’t matter. Somehow the white coats have got a hold on him.