It was another session with Olivia, the therapist who brought me back from the dark side of childhood sexual abuse. Although I am in a relatively good place, a little tuneup is needed now and then.
“I noticed a significant decrease in the number of blogs that you have written,” Olivia said. “How do you feel about that?” Olivia knows that without writing I tend to lose my way, allowing depression to slide under my door.
My eyes stared at the floor. “I don’t feel good about it. With my back pain and a bit of depression, I am not motivated to write. But I need to write. I can’t imagine my life without it.”
“So what have you been doing?” Olivia asked.
“I’ve been spending some time on facebook,” I answered. “But that’s not without its problems.”
“Tell me about it,” Olivia said.
“Sometimes I get sucked into a pointless political discussion. Reading some far, right wing post pushes my hot button and I feel compelled to respond. Its always a pointless discussion with no resolution. A total waste of my time. Stupid stuff. A real downer.”
My remarks were followed by silence. There’s always the quite moments when Olivia leaves me to think about what I just said. (Its like she is saying, hey buddy, you need to figure out some of this shit yourself.)
“Okay, ” I said. “Let me use a metaphor to explain what is gong on.” I feel like I’m a mouse stranded in a large maze with multiple hallways and individual rooms. Each room houses a friend who shares emotional contact with me, but no physical interaction. It’s an attractive way to spend idle time away from the stresses of life and, oh yes, my nagging back pain. But there is a down side to the pleasantries — the mouse trap, a dark seductive device. I take a stroll down the hallway to visit a friend, and “lo” without warning is a mousetrap topped with a chunk of blue cheese emitting a fragrance that I cannot resist. I know, as certain as I know my name, Mickey, this is a trap that will kill me, slow or fast, my certain death. So far I have pulled away at the last moment, but I don’t know how long I can resist? If I put heroin in the mousetrap I have my story.
“Well, this is certainly about facebook,” Olivia said. “Sounds like you are bored. Although you find the political discussions pointless, your curiosity is challenged. Maybe it is trying to take the place of your writing.”
“Wow,” I said. “You cut to the point, hard and fast, like a box cutter slicing through a cardboard box. You’re right. I’d better be careful or I will become a political pundit instead of a writer.” The two of us laughed followed by silence.
“So, what can you write about?” Olivia asked.
Silence again. “I know what I’ll write,” I said. “I’ll write about facebook and how I feel like I’m being stalked by a mousetrap.”
Hence, Facebook World — Heroin in the Mousetrap