Friday, 11 January 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Haresh Daswani

Image"Ever been put in that scenario where you stare at the mirror and imagine a horrifying figure behind you while you brush your teeth? This scenario of the person looking at you just as soon as you spit the toothpaste and look back up the mirror, the image floats for 2 seconds and goes away. 

You imagine this just after you have watched a movie with a similar situation. If this image happens frequently enough, the next image you see in the mirror might either actually be real, because you channeled it, or you have thought about it so frequently it actually blurred the line between imagination and reality."


This is one of the many strange and uncalled for discussions Dr. Grusse talks about whenever he is with a client. As a psychologist, he lets the client sit down and relax on the chair, he does the usual query but starts interrupting with disturbing ideas just before the patient will start discussing the problem.

Complaints have been filed against the doctor as more 10 year olds get disturbed more than what they deserve. Imagine finding a child trying to get over his parent's divorce only to be given bigger issues on what will happen to him once all the world's oil gets used up. Or the incident of a person scared of flying to learn that there have been incidents of plane debris falling over residential areas, which is to gain a higher chance of occurring with more chances of plane hijacking and bombing, now that many countries are fighting each other.

These patients don't need to know all these problems, but for some strange reason, Dr. Grusse feels the same way himself. He feels no need to hear fears, anxieties, and troubling stories, as it is, according to him, giving him a headache and GERT.

Dr. Grusse has been a sort of a psychiatrist in his youth, listening to the problems in the world. They may not necessarily come from friends or family directly, but from the news, side comments and stories, and other useless venues where problems are floating around in the air like a cold virus. You will just catch it and it will disappoint.

With the idea that he can make a living listening to problems and trying to resolve them, Dr. Grusse becomes a psychiatrist, but not so far after he gets his office did he start losing interest in other people's problems, and instead contaminate everyone else's mind with what he thinks.

It is hard to just sit in one place and listen to people crying, sobbing, and complaining. It seems like, some day, the toilet cleaner wants to crap in a toilet bowl where someone will clean it instead, or the street sweeper throwing away his trash on the road without a care. When it comes to the dirty work, it is a thankless job, and can hardly be artistic or appreciated.

Imagine having to be an emotional wastebasket. Taking in bucketfuls of tissues filled with problems and anxieties. At some point, it gets filled up, and needs to unload.

And that seems to be the case of Dr. Grusse, now sitting alone in the bar with a drink, quietly staring at the crowd, and looking at his drink.

"What is in your mind?" asked the bartender, one of the many unlicensed emotional wastebaskets, handing out street advice to any drunk who pays the drink.

"Quite frankly my friend", smiled Dr. Grusse, "I look around in more skepticism in this room than you do, and wonder if the next man in this room has had one of the worst day in his life, and foregoes logic and decides to let it all vent out by shooting around. Quite frankly, they would like to shoot bottles first, which are behind you. Knowing that the shooter is drunk, he will have a very bad shot, and guess who would be a bigger target? You would also have very little time to move if this person has just pulled out the gun and go for it. If you ask me, all I can say is, how lucky are you today?"

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