Friday, December 01, 2006

Their misery is my amusement.

Today I'd like to share with you one of the perks of my job.

Often times, in order to get away from staring at a computer I step outside to enjoy the sights. I live in Florida where it's beautiful almost year round, so why not enjoy it?

Right above the office where I work is a therapist that does counseling sessions for couples. Often times I get to see them arrive for their appointments and they never fail to amuse me. The couples show up, meet by the staircase leading to the counselor's office and then proceed to head in for their session. Most times the couples arrive in separate cars and spend five minutes arguing with each other before heading in, sometimes they rendezvous in complete silence. For these moments I am either forced to witness their bouts of anger and get an understanding of just why they need this therapy, but when they are silent I take the liberty of making up my own assumptions about them and their current situation.
If I happen to witness a really good argument, I will make a mental note to be back outside an hour later to witness them post-counseling. I'm sick and twisted like that.

The very first couple I witnessed, Jack and Joan (the names are made up because I don't actually talk to these people), met up and Joan proceeded to yell at Jack at high volumes because the previous night he had gone to a bar after work and arrived home an hour later than usual. This lead Joan to assume that he had hooked up with approximately 18 high school cheerleaders over the course of that hour. Jack was adamant about trying to get her to calm down since they were out in public and I was standing a mere ten feet away, but that only forced Joan to continue her slander to both Jack and everyone else within a five mile radius.
I saw this couple more than anyone else. They eventually stopped showing up. I had to assume that Jack had probably taken his own life from having to deal with her.
And so it goes.

Another couple I witnessed were Rick and Robin (again, these are false names). They were a couple that arrived in silence and left in silence each taking their own vehicle to their own destinations, which I'm guessing were not the same place. This is one of those times where I had to make up a reason for them needing counseling. Since Rick was short and fat with a bad case of hair loss, I assumed that he probably wasn't hooking up with many cheerleaders these days. Robin was several years younger, stern looking, and always dressed like she was going to a funeral. Perhaps in the end, she was. From what I could gather, Robin was middle management at a semi-successful company and was weary from being passed over for every promotion. In her eyes, she would never fully succeed in the "man's world" that is software engineering. She was a feminist who owned sixteen cats and had an insatiable lust for "Cherry Garcia" ice cream. Rick was a narcoleptic hypochondriac with an insatiable lust for Big Mac's. As irony would have it, the trigger for his narcolepsy was cats.
You can just see the drama unfolding in your mind.

Sure, there have been other couples and other stories and I really wish that I had time to tell you about Sarah the vegetarian and Seth the butcher. They were a good couple.


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