[Go to #6]Alex returns from Iraq where he went to see the damage done by the bomb he'd dropped. First, he criticizes Paul's coffee, asks about Paul's heart (remember, Alex had had a heard attack) and Paul tells him a story of a patient who began every session by popping a pill.
Alex felt nothing as he looked at the people he'd mutilated. He felt nothing. His ability to feel guilt has been removed, like an organ ectomized. Paul talks about how he felt nothing at a friend's funeral...the story does not resonate for Alex.
Alex talks about an old man in Iraq who appears to have recognized him as the bomber. From there they talk about Alex's father, how he'd killed his own father, suffocated him to keep him quiet as they hid from a mob set to kill them. Alex's father had no guilt or he wouldn't have survived.
Alex is here today to talk about his marriage. "I saw my wife, I really looked at her." She was sleeping in front of the TV, he watched her for an hour straight. Does Paul ever watch his wife sleep this long? No, Paul falls asleep first. Alex asks, "Who the hell is she and what am I doing with her." Paul looks tense-- oh Alex is hitting on Paul's own insecurities about his own stale marriage. "She grinds her teeth, she takes it all out on her teeth at night....she is a totally repressed person," Alex says. Alex's wife Michaela is on a mission to get him back to work, everything with her is clockwork. "Michaela's dying for me to go back."
As Paul talks about Alex's marriage, I wonder if he's talking about Alex's marriage or his own. Alex announces he's suddenly realized he was never in love and now he knows he needs to leave the marriage. Will Paul deal with his own issues, will he leave Kate. "There must be tremendous relief in walking away." "Maybe you're leaving yourself not your wife."
"Again, I feel like a rubber stamp for a decision you'd already made. You're really asking me to accept responsibility for your big decisions. These aren't conclusions you've come to here on this couch in the last week with my permission. They've been boiling over inside you for a very long time."
"My time is up." Alex pays in cash and storms off. "I'll keep you posted."
It ends and I asked my husband, "What was that about?"
"He makes up his mind what he wants to do and goes to the doctor for validation."
"Oh," I said, "I thought it was about Paul's marriage."
I wonder what Roy and ClinkShrink think.