ON THE ROAD TO MARTY MCFLY
66, 000 words
I admire my therapist’s evenly cuffed jeans as I comb and count rug fringe on her office floor. The rug’s a tangle of fringe that needs my attention—which is why I’m bent over it, combing each thread straight. Like that matters.
It does to me.
Mom’s idea to sign me up for therapy after the last six months of my life turned into a television reality show for closet organizers.
“How does that make you feel, Zinnia? The rug. Better? Is the…sizzling in your chest gone?” Lisa the Scribbler flips through pages then sets the pad down and folds her hands in her lap.
I shrug. “I guess.”
Today’s our fourth session in two months, and her office is still a mess. Papers pile on her desk; some in folders, some not.
“Like I said, if something eases your nerves, and no one’s getting hurt, go for it.” Lisa tucks a purple streak of hair behind her ear. What is she…twenty-five?
No diplomas on her wall, just weird posters.
I can’t stand the silence, so I blurt out the question I’ve been chewing on for two months: “Is it true anxiety’s passed down? I mean, my mom’s the least organized person I know, but…”
“What’s your dad like?”
The million dollar question. I swallow. “Never met him.”
“Oh.” She lifts her pad and scribbles. “Is he alive?”
God, I never even thought of that. Thanks, Lisa. “I don’t know. Mom keeps him a secret.”
“I see. Well, I’m sure she has a good reason for that.”
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