I Love To Wait – Hazel Christie

I love to wait for you
I love to wait for you
the way it concentrates my mind
on the fact that you are not here for me
I listen for the footsteps of the approaching therapists
I glance up, register their faces,
watch as the waiting room empties
and I’m left alone with my thoughts
So I wait
I immerse myself in the lifestyle magazines
the photos a self-protective fold between the world and me
but I’ve read them all now, when I was waiting
The wait takes the problems of my world which fill my days
with a bleak weariness
the pain and desolute despair, the hopelessness
press my shoulders down
I slouch wearily in my chair, bury myself
While I wait
Have I told you how I feel when I wait?
Small details overwhelm
with each passing minute my insignificance intensifies
someone else is more important, more needy than me
For here I am
abandoned, uncared for
not worthy of attention
old patterns of neglect – abuse you call it – play out again
this time at your hands
You come, try to catch my eye, but I turn away
give your shoes the dull glare of a defiant child
I trudge up the corridor,
take my surly resentment into the therapy room
until the day comes when I tell you of my anger
the great gaping hole that sucks all the light,
all the matter, all that mattered
into it
because you did not care
Our next appointment comes and you are on time
I notch up a small victory against you
Less withdrawn now I tell you more of how the waiting makes me feel
Of how tiny and unimportant I am, far beneath notice
The torment of having your own insignificance marked out
I think you’ve heard me but then in the last seconds of our session
you tell me you’ll be late next week,
you have a client before me
obviously more needy
I drop my eyes, swallow a retort,
and feel that familiar sense of unworthiness sweep over me
I know now that I cannot rely on other people
They only disappoint in the end
Hazel Christie