Conversation With A Doctor


Of All Things

Well doctor, we realized we needed help because, because it just
wasn\'t working out. You can only work out your own problems for so long.
I\'m sure you are, doctor. No, Dr. Pasquali recommended you, he\'s our
family doctor. He thought it might help for us to see you.
Oh I see. Tuesday, then. All right.
Thursday? I think he could. I\'ll tell him. Are you sure you don\'t
want to see us together?
I suppose so, doctor. Goodbye.

Tuesday

Thank you doctor.
No, I wasn\'t expecting a pipe-smoking Freudian, but.....
Of course not. Maybe Arnaud would, but not me.
Okay, I\'ll tell you if I am. But I won\'t be. After all, I am the one
who decided to come to you.
Nine.
Well, doctor, it involves our apartment.
Oh, a very nice one, near the University, view of the river and all
that. We got it about ten years ago, and we never saw any reason to move.
Since we decided never to have kids, I guess we never needed anything
larger -- not that it\'s small, of course.
A condominium.
Well, I teach literature at McGill. And I went on an academic
exchange to Germany.
Hamburg. It\'s an ugly city, but we enjoyed it anyway.
Yes, teaching. I got Arnaud to travel around Germany a bit, and we
came back through France.
No, I wish I had learnt it, but since I taught my students in French
it didn\'t matter too much. And of course they all speak English.
When we got back. The time we were there was fine.
We\'d rented it out to a couple from Qu‚bec City. They seemed nice,
and we didn\'t want it to sit empty for six months. We charged them less
than we should have, but that didn\'t seem to matter.
No, we didn\'t really know them. We put an ad in the paper, and they
answered it.
Oh, they paid us. After three months, we got a check. And when we
came home, the rest was there, in cash, on the kitchen table.
It was the apartment. They ... they ... ruined it. They changed
everything. All our things, just vanished.
No, it wasn\'t empty. That\'s the funny part. They didn\'t just take
everything away. They replaced it. All our furniture, all the pictures and
sculptures and books, even the wallpaper. We now live in someone else\'s
fully furnished apartment.
It\'s not funny. It\'s like somebody took part of your life and ....
Already?
No, I understand. If we discussed our visits you wouldn\'t get our
points of view clearly.

Thursday

Could I sit down?
Thank you.
Of course I\'m not. We wouldn\'t have agreed to come here if we didn\'t
think it would help.
How would it help? I guess just that we are talking to someone about
it, that is supposed to make us understand it better, isn\'t it?
Where should I begin? Do you want to hear about my childhood?
I don\'t know if it\'s important. What do you think?
All right then.
Ghyslaine got sent to Germany, so of course I went too. I would have
liked to work there, but on such short notice.... We went to Hamburg, it\'s
not bad as a city but I prefer Montr‚al.
I\'m a chemist. I teach, and I do research in .... in pretty esoteric
stuff you wouldn\'t be interested in. Or would you? Have you ever heard of
fractal aggregate quasi-crystals?
That\'s okay, most people haven\'t. Anyhow since I wasn\'t working for
six months I decided to kick around the country a little bit, but Ghyslaine
didn\'t seem too interested in that, so mostly I stayed in Hamburg.
No, I was glad that she got that opportunity. Of course I would have
liked to work, but since that wasn\'t possible I made do.
Oh yes, we enjoyed it. Especially coming back through France; I
hadn\'t been there since I was a student.
Since that what this whole business is about, I guess I should tell
you about our apartment, even though Ghyslaine probably already has. It\'s
on the third floor, but since it\'s on the hill it has quite a view. You can
see the city and the river and the bridges. We used to sit on the balcony
in summer and watch the ships go by under the bridges. I must be
old-fashioned but I