Mental Health Day

How are you doing today? I’m doing much better since I rode my bike to Greenville and paid a visit to my psychiatrist, Dr. Saba. I secured my bicycle to a tree in front of the building, and his wife, who runs the front desk of this busy office, greeted me with a smile when she saw me carrying a helmet. They always seem to like it whenever I ride my bike over there.

When Dr. Saba walked up and retrieved my file, he escorted me into his private office. I shut the door behind me and stepped upon the scale. I weighed in at 164.6 pounds. “What’s been going on?” is his usual question. I told him that the side effects of my medication was bothering me. For one thing, I was grinding my teeth, and for another, I was troubled by nightmares and insomnia. I thought the 75 milligram Effexor I was taking, along with my other medicine, was bothering me. “What time are you taking this medicine?” Dr. Saba asked me. I told him at 5pm every day. Dr. Saba replied that Effexor was a stimulant, and it was meant to be taken in the daytime. This could be what was causing me problems. If I took the Effexor in the morning when I arose, the insomnia should clear up.

Dr. Saba asked me what else was going on. I told him about the emotional distress I was experiencing while wearing a large backpack upon my back in public, riding my bicycle to the food bank to get my groceries. Dr. Saba said that I was a man taking care of his own business, and not to concern myself with what total strangers thought about it. He told me that back in Goldsboro where he lives, there is a dry cleaners where he gets his shirts done, and beside it is a food bank. He has seen people drive up there in fancy trucks, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and in any other type of vehicle you could possibly imagine. Food banks are a phenomenon which have cropped up in this country only over the past several years. There are a lot of people doing it now.

Dr. Saba proceeded to commend me on keeping my weight down, saying that I looked really good. He asked me what books I was reading lately. I told Dr. Saba that I have been reading the works of the ancient Roman historian Tacitus, along with the war commentaries of Julius Caesar — wading through their long, latinized sentences structures with very limited character analysis — but describing in minute detail the battles, the geography surrounding them, and the hundreds and thousands of people slaughtered, as if they were objects instead of people. Dr. Saba said that the reason there was no character analysis in those books was because the rulers at that time had no real character to speak of. The focus was entirely on expansionism. Dr. Saba said that the reason the Roman Empire collapsed was the same reason the British Empire eroded and faded away: they grew too large for them to govern.

“What do you think of the Boris Johnson character?” I asked Dr. Saba.

“Well, he is a fast talker. He has made a lot of promises with no real plans to carry them through,” he replied. “But Theresa May was a disappointment.”

Dr. Saba is origionally from Sri Lanka, and he spoke of the times when the British were getting out of his home country and out of India, the development of the European Union, along with the United Kingdom’s efforts to break out of that, also. We talked about European politics for a while, then, as we concluded our session, Dr. Saba escorted me out of the office and admonished me to use plenty of sunscreen.

Have a wonderful day.

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