[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 18 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Monday, November 14th, 2011|
Felicitations once again, Dominique. My birthday wish for you is that you're free to celebrate the day with the one you love best.
Fondly, as always.
Kat Current Mood: hopeful
|Saturday, November 14th, 2009|
Happy Birthday, Dominique. I think of you often, and hope you're well. I suppose the fact that you've not felt a need to resume our sessions should be taken as a good sign, but I must confess that Zurich is rather lonely these days.
Do take care of yourself, and know that I'm fully expecting you to be found innocent when the Clearstream verdict is returned.
|Wednesday, November 14th, 2007|
Happy Birthday, my dear. I have the same wish for you that I sent to Vladimir last month ... that the coming year will bring you your heart's desire. You know that if it's in my power to help make that happen for you, you only have to ask.
I seem to be taking up permanent residence in Zürich. If business or pleasure ever brings you this way again, you'll find me at the same place. It would be good to see you, or to hear from you.
Please have a wonderful day with your family and friends. Know that you're in my thoughts.
Kat Current Mood: contemplative
|Sunday, October 7th, 2007|
Happy birthday, Vladimir. I hope as you embark on this new year that it will bring you your heart's desire.
Kat Current Mood: hopeful
|Monday, June 19th, 2006|
Thursday evening, 4 MayHotel Baur Au Lac
Just jotting down some impressions while they're still fresh in my mind. I'll have more to say later, after I've considered the implications of what happened today.
I had a call earlier this week from ... call him WS, my patient's French friend. It wasn't entirely unexpected; they've had no contact for almost three months, and the break wasn't of WS's choosing. Desperation finally overcame reticence, I think, but he had to know even before he picked up the telephone that it wouldn't be possible for me to tell him anything about WD. But he got in touch with me anyway.
[Real reason for initiating contact?]
I took advantage of the opportunity to ask if he'd be willing to talk to me a little about that last night with WD; there are things I should know about what happened between them, and WD can't help, as he has several lost hours. WS was with him, though; he's the only one who can fill in some of the blanks. He was reluctant at first, but eventually agreed to give me a little time to later in the week when he'd be coming to Zürich to meet a colleague. I warned him that WD would be coming here for the weekend, but WS assured me he'd only be in town for a few hours on Thursday (today), so wasn't running any risk of meeting his friend.
WS is quite charming (as expected). We met this afternoon in the park, as he was concerned about being overheard; natural enough under the circumstances, but then later he was worried that I might be taping our conversation. I let him look through my bag to see for himself that there was no recording device. That seemed to satisfy him. It turned out he'd even come up with an explanation for our "relationship" should anyone notice him talking to a psychiatrist. As far as the outside world is concerned, I'm to be his mistress. Ironic. I agreed to play along, but that meant I had to tell him he could call me by my first name; a potential problem shouled he ever consult me professionally, but one I didn't see any way to avoid.
[Note trust issues. Paranoia?]
I told him what I knew of his encounter with WD; all that I'd been told and all that I'd inferred. He became more and more distressed as he listened. When he took up the story, he started from the point where he left the bedroom. He didn't seem to really know why he felt he had to flee (I use the word deliberately); just said something about "him" coming. It was clear he wasn't referring to WD.
[An imaginary person or someone real? Trauma? Source?]
Then I got to see first-hand what WD has been trying to explain to me without knowing the techincal language. Instead of continuing to describe what happened after he left the bedroom from an external point of view, calling up a memory, he was suddenly inside
the memory and reliving the experience. It's no wonder that WD doesn't know how to deal with these incidents. Dissociative states are challenging enough when you understand what it is you're dealing with ... for a layman working blind, and having to do it in secrecy on top of that ... well, WD deserves more credit than perhaps I've been giving him.
By dint of much coaxing I got him mentally back to the bedroom again, wondering why WD hadn't come after him as he usually does, but too tired and relieved to have found his way back to WD to look for an answer. He simply went back to bed and slept until morning. When he awoke, he noticed something was wrong. WD was cold, and WS thought he was dead. Then without warning WS was reliving a different memory altogether, an incident like nothing WD has mentioned.to me. I tried to get him to tell me where he was, but he was already coming back to himself, looking and sounding shaken. He made an excuse about having to leave, and then literally ran away, back to the hotel
[What was the last incident? Someone dead and a steam-filled room ...]
I need to think more about all of this, and it looks like I'm still searching for answers about the suicide attempt and the breakup. I doubt I'll have another opportunity with WS anytime soon.
D/V CANON TRAIL:
You are in Volume 09 ("Weekend of Silvio's First Two Nights"), Chapter 01
NEXT CHAPTER: Dominique's first night with Silvio (Silvio 1)
BACK A CHAPTER:
Volume 09 | Chapter 01 | Domi calls Kat from his room, meets her in the garden
BACK TO CONTENTS
|Wednesday, May 24th, 2006|
|Thursday Afternoon, May 4th
Note for the Canon Trail: Until we collect these comments in one dialogue form, they span two pages here. The link to the next chapter is as a comment on the second page.
Early afternoon on a beautiful spring day. Kat is sitting at her desk, making notes for tomorrow morning's session with Vlad. The telephone rings. She puts down her pen and lifts the receiver.
Hello? Dr. Norte speaking.
|Monday, May 22nd, 2006|
|An early morning phone call
The sound of the telephone is muted, discreet, almost apologetic ... as though calls received at such an early hour of the day can only bring bad news. Kat looks up from the newspaper and frowns slightly. Just past 6:00 a.m., so probably not a local caller. Swan, perhaps, calling from Los Angeles. Or Vladimir in Moscow; it's two hours later there, and after their last series of talks, hearing from him wouldn't be unexpected. She puts down the paper, rises, and walks to the desk, lifting the phone receiver just as the next ring starts.
Hello? Dr. Norte speaking. Current Mood: curious
|Wednesday, May 17th, 2006|
Hotel Baur Au LacSaturday evening, 29 April
Stupid. There's no other word for it. I was stupid today, and made a misstep that could have been disastrous. I acted as though I were treating my first patient, not as though I've been doing this work for the past twenty years. What was I thinking?
The session with WD started out fine this morning. I'd read his journal, and we picked up our discussion with the suicide attempt. And what he said, the reason
he gave for his action ... it made me angry, and I let the anger show. The man has something precious, and while with one hand he's fighting desperately to understand it and accept it and keep it and make it better, with the other he's doing his best to throw it all away. But I've seen that before with patients, and it's never bothered me like this. I've always remained the detached professional ... but this time ... I couldn't do it. It was David all over again, and I wasn't prepared. So I lashed out, and shocked him, and then made matters worse by apologising and telling him I'd understand if he wanted to find someone else to work with. As though that were even possible, given who he is and the delicacy of the situation. But of course he seized on it, said we were both wasting our time and he'd solve his problems in his own way, and walked out. And all I could think was "God forgive me; this time he'll do it right".
I think ... I hope ... I've fixed things. I saw him later in a different setting and let the doctor-patient formality relax just a bit. I think he'll stay. He says he will, and I hope he means it. We're to have another session tomorrow morning before he leaves Zürich, and I'm going to try to set our next meeting myself, rather than leaving it up to him. There can't be another gap of months before we talk again. Current Mood: drained
|Friday, May 5th, 2006|
Kat's suite at the Hotel Baur Au Lac. Late afternoon/early evening, Friday, April 28th.
The door opens and Kat enters from the corridor, alone, closing the door behind her and flicking the lightswitch to turn on the pair of lamps flanking the sofa. Kicking off her shoes, she walks over to the desk and puts down a small notebook, a stack of index cards, and some fragments of torn cardstock. She stands looking at them a moment, then gives her head a tiny shake and walks over to a cabinet by the windows. The inside of the cabinet is fitted out as a small bar, with shelves containing glasses and a selection of spirits and mixers. The mini refrigerator in the bottom portion of the cabinet contains juices, white wine, and a bottle of champagne. Fixing herself a drink, Kat takes it back to the desk, stopping on the way to put a disc in the stereo system. As the room fills with the sound of Mahler, Kat seats herself at the desk, switches on the lamp, and begins reassembling the torn cards in front of her. She pays special attention to one set of fragments, taping the pieces carefully together and then slipping the finished whole into a manila folder, which she puts inside one of the desk drawers. The other pieces, when reassembled, become index cards again, and she puts them back in their proper order, slipping them into place with the undamaged cards. Only then does she put on her glasses, open the notebook, and begin to read.
**************************************OOC Note to vlad_impaler: Shall we ever have them encounter one another outside the confines of Salon V, where they could talk about other things? I'm sure Kat wouldn't refuse if Vlad saw her dining alone one evening and wanted to join her, or if they met in the course of a walk. Current Mood: pensive
|Thursday, April 27th, 2006|
Monday afternoon, Hotel Baur Au Lac
I had another session with WD this morning. He did the exercise I'd assigned (it was difficult for him, probably more so than he was willing to admit), and we spent some time talking about it. We barely scratched the surface of course, but I was interested to see how quickly he moved the conversation from the general to the very specific. It wasn't planned, I'm sure, but the very fact that he did it speaks volumes about the thing that's uppermost in his mind. I think I have the answer now to one of the first questions I asked him yesterday (a question he couldn't answer then). I certainly have the answer to another question that was posed to him, and that he chose to ignore.
He says he wants to continue working with me, and I'm glad. He's to call when he can schedule some time for another meeting. It's certainly not common practice to allow the patient to control the calendar, but there are reasons why in this particular case it's the only thing possible.
There's something else he asked me that I agreed to. Now we'll see if he's able to follow through on it, or if, when it comes down to it, he actually tries. Current Mood: pensive
|Thursday, April 20th, 2006|
Sunday evening (late), Hotel Baur Au Lac Current Mood: tired
Just a quick entry before I end my day.
I had an introductory session this afternoon with Swan's referral ... let's call him WD. Nervous and uncertain (but I've seen worse); wanting help but not really knowing how to ask for it; reticent about a key personal relationship. I gave him an exercise to do overnight, and we're to meet again tomorrow morning. He's used to being in control of things, so it will be interesting to see if he's willing/able to cede authority to me in this. The exercise itself is a genuine one. I've also asked him to think about whether he's comfortable talking to me; if he can't answer "Yes", then there's little point in our trying to work together.
|Thursday, April 6th, 2006|
My whole reason for being in Switzerland has changed. The book on Jung that I was planning to research and write has been put on hold; I may be on the brink of starting something far more challenging, and all my energies will need to be focused on this new work.
I've still done nothing about finding a house or flat that I can lease on a short-term or month-to-month basis. That's partly due to the new project; there may be special conditions that need to satisfied, and I haven't had a chance yet to consult with the appropriate parties. There are other reasons as well; the hotel is comfortable and convenient, and the staff are experts in providing personal service (anything that's needed or desired, apparently). I think the Baur Au Lac will be home for at least a little longer. Current Mood: excited
|Wednesday, March 29th, 2006|
|Sunday afternoon, Hotel Baur Au Lac (continued)
Late afternoon now, and dusk is starting to fall. Kat has been working at her desk for a couple of hours, and a small stack of letters in heavy cream-coloured envelopes sit in front of her, stamped and ready to be posted. As she starts to write the next letter ("Dear Swan -- "), there's a knock at her door. She puts the cap back on her fountain pen, and goes to the door. Current Mood: expectant
Kat: *opens the door and smiles at the young, green-eyed hotel employee standing there*
Kat: Good afternoon, Fritz.
Fritz the Sous-Concièrge: *gives slight, respectful nod of his head* Good afternoon, Doktor Norte. I am sorry if I disturb you, but vun of zeh oder guests, a Herr gentleman who is also staying viz us, asked me to give zis note to you. *hands Kat a sealed hotel envelope, being careful not to "accidentally" brush his fingers against hers as she takes the note from him*
Kat: *smiles* Thank you, Fritz. Just a moment, please. *goes to the desk, takes a few francs from her handbag, returns to the door and makes to hand the money to Fritz, who holds his hand up, refusing.*
Fritz the Sous-Conciège: Thank you, Doktor Norte, but zis is not necessary. It is my pleasure to deliver zis personally to you. *smiles charmingly* *leaves, casting glances behind him as he wanders down the corridor*
Kat: *closes the door and stands for a moment turning the envelope over in her hands before opening it and reading the brief message contained in the note inside.* *notes the slightly shaky initial which is the only signature* *looks at her watch, then collects her handbag and room key and leaves the suite, locking the door behind her*
|Sunday, March 26th, 2006|
|Sunday afternoon, Hotel Baur Au Lac
OOC: Just setting the scene. Current Mood: calm
Hotel guests and visitors are seated singly and in groups in the hotel's large, comfortably-appointed lounge. Classical music (Mozart) is playing softly in the background. If this were a film, the camera would slowly pan the room and then focus in on a pair of armchairs near large windows overlooking the park grounds in which the hotel stands. One of the chairs is occupied by a woman of indeterminate age dressed simply but elegantly in a chocolate-brown wool skirt and an open-necked white silk shirt with French cuffs. The gold knot cufflinks are echoed by her earrings, and there's a gold chain at her throat. When she reaches over to the coffee service placed on the table beside her, her sleeve pulls back and a man's gold watch on a brown alligator band can be glimpsed on her right wrist. She doesn't wear a wedding band, but a fire opal ring on her left hand catches the light and the stone blazes with colour for an instant. A paisley cashmere shawl in tones of brown, red, and green is folded neatly and draped over the chair back. A brown leather handbag sits at her feet.
The woman takes off her glasses for a moment to rub her eyes, then turns back to the newspaper, which she reads as she sips her coffee. Her glance lights on a small article announcing an expected visit to Zurich by Russian president Putin. If someone were close enough and perceptive enough, they'd notice that she goes still for a moment, as if her thoughts were elsewhere. Then she gives her head a quick shake, finishes her coffee, and collects her belongings and the paper. On her way to the elevator bank she stops at Reception, where she's greeted by name by the well-trained staff ("Good afternoon, Dr. Cisne do Norte") and is handed her mail and a few messages.
A few minutes later, back in her suite, she sits down at the desk, opens her Filofax to the appropriate weekly calendar page, and jots down an entry. Then she begins to go through her mail.
OOC: And is there anything interesting in her mail, I wonder? Or will there be a telephone call, perhaps, or a knock at the door of her suite?
|Monday, February 27th, 2006|
|Picking up where I left off
It's been a long time since I posted here. The "long-distance therapy" idea that Swan and I talked about at Christmas never came to anything, and I don't know whether to feel relieved or sorry. I get the sense from things she's said recently that matters aren't going well between them; that one is at his wits' end and the other verging on a complete breakdown.... It's such a shame; I think I could help and would like to try, but one doesn't just go knocking on such high-level doors peddling psychiatric consultation like a day labourer looking for work.
I haven't been idle myself, though. I've been promising myself a sabbatical from my practice so that I could get away and see if the idea for a book that's been at the back of my mind can be coaxed out into the light and developed into something worthwhile. So, after clearing my calendar for Swan and then finding myself idle, I decided that this was the time to do some work for myself. My patients were successfully moved to other therapists (easy to do when your clients want to see you not because they're truly ill, but just because you aren't anyone in L.A. unless you are/have been in therapy), I rented out my house, packed my bags (and some of my books), and got on a plane bound for Switzerland. I'm making this entry at the Hotel Baur Au Lac, where I've taken rooms and plan to stay for a few weeks while I get my bearings. If I decide to stay in Zürich I may eventually look for a house or flat to rent, but for now the hotel will be fine.
It's going to be good to do some real work again.
|Wednesday, December 28th, 2005|
The Prime Minister of France.
The President of Russia.
If I say it a few times, I may begin to believe it.
No time for more here today. I have to block out some personal time on my calendar, because I have a lot of background reading to do. And I have to think of how to protect my case notes, and, for that matter, what to call the file. And there'll be no secretarial help on this one.
ETA (25 March 2006): Tidying things up a bit. Hmmm ... better pretend that the boys can't see this post (or that it wasn't written). I don't think Kat should know who her prospective long-distance patients are unless Swan's idea takes off (and we already know it doesn't.) Current Mood: concerned
|Tuesday, December 27th, 2005|
|Christmas Eve dinner
What were the last words I wrote in here on Friday? Curious? Interesting? Well, change that to "bizarre" and you might be closer to the mark!
I drove downtown Saturday night and met S at the Biltmore for pre-dinner drinks, as planned. The hotel is beautiful at any time of the year, but they go all out at Christmas ... it's like stepping back in time a hundred years or so. Swags of fir, wreaths, holly, trees with lights and old-fashioned ornaments, strolling carolers; if there'd been snow and hansom cabs outside it might have been a scene out of Edith Wharton's New York.
So, settled in comfortable chairs, glasses of wine in hand, I said, "Okay, spill. You're dying to tell me, so out with it." She laughed a little at that, shrugged, and then launched into the strangest story I've ever heard from her. In brief, she's somehow become acquainted with, as she put it, "a couple of prominent European politicians," at least one of whom seems in serious need of therapy. But "he" (no names yet) refuses to even acknowledge that he needs to talk to anyone, and even if he were willing, just having word of it get out might be the kiss of death for his political career. When I asked how the other person figures in, she told me that some kind of relationship exists between the two of them (she was deliberately vague and I didn't push; I'm guessing it's probably an affair and that one or both of them is married). She added that this second person is, if anything, even better-known than the first, and that he (a sip of wine going down the wrong way was really the only reason I choked a bit here) is desperate to help his friend [note to self: "lover"?] but doesn't know what to do; for that matter doesn't even know whether he's part of the problem or part of the solution.
We were on our second glasses of wine by this point, and we stopped talking for a moment here to listen to the carolers doing something lovely and French ... "Il est né" I think is the name of the piece. I was half-listening to the music and half-thinking about what Swan had been telling me. If I didn't know her better, I'd have put her story down as some kind of elaborate joke, but, much as I like her, I don't think she has the imagination for something like this. She's a banker, for God's sake; she spends her days working with facts and figures and numbers; where on earth would she have dreamt up something so fantastic? So, assume it's true. What next?
"Kat, Kat, wake up." I was pulled out of my reverie by Swan, who was looking at me with the corners of her mouth twitching. Oh, no doubt about it, she was fighting back an "Ah ha! Gotcha!" grin, and what could I do but smile, shake my head, and admit that I was interested and wanted to hear more?
It finished rather quickly. What she's proposing is that I try to do some long-distance therapy with a man who doesn't know that it's happening. (Nothing strange here, is there?) I'd have access to the same public and private writings that she sees, and this would be true for the second man as well. It's possible, she said, that the second man might be willing to talk to me at some point, or to answer questions, but she couldn't promise anything since, at the moment, he was as much in the dark about this as his friend. Swan will pay for my time (she said it's her Christmas gift to both of them). I told her I'd have to think about it, and would give her my answer on Tuesday; if I agree, then and only then will she give me names. "Deal," I said, and we walked over to the Water Grille for dinner.
So now it's Tuesday, and I have to call her with my answer. While I admit I'm intrigued, there are things about this that disturb me, not the least of which is that what Swan is suggesting probably violates every ethical canon of my profession. Do I believe that the end justifies the means here? I don't know. I think her motives are good, but what she's proposing seems less like therapy than profiling a potential Intelligence Service asset. Determine what makes the man tick and how to push his buttons, and then go in and collect him. If that's the point of this exercise, I don't want any part of it. But if he does need help (she hinted Saturday at a suicide attempt) well, how can I turn my back and say "No"?
All right. Stop agonising over this and make a decision. It comes down to whether or not I trust Swan, and I do. So, let's at least take the next step and see what happens. If nothing else, it will be a change from bored Hollywood types with too much time and money on their hands. Okay, so the answer will be "Yes". Now let's find out who we're talking about.
*ends journal entry and picks up the phone to call Swan* Current Mood: calm
|Friday, December 23rd, 2005|
Had a call from S today, wanting to confirm dinner plans for Saturday. A little odd, because we've been getting together for dinner on Christmas Eve for a few years now, and we're both good about making our plans in advance and sticking to them. Well, what do you expect ... two single professional women ... a psychiatrist and a banker ... is that so surprising? In any event, there was an undercurrent of ... something ... in her voice on the phone this morning that was unusual. But all she'd say was that she had a proposition for me, and that we could talk about it over dinner tomorrow night. And she wanted to know what my client calendar looks like these days. Curious. Interesting. Current Mood: curious