and so twenty minutes or so into our sixth meeting I said to her,
– I realise what I’ve been doing. I’ve been talking about not talking. When I’ve talked about her, and our weekly chats, and that night when I left after she… Well, after she trusted me so much
– and about that year in that house, all of it. It’s been about not talking. About building up to talking and not being able to, because something happens, because someone says something, or it feels wrong, or because I can’t. Because I just can’t. … And it hit me. I was talking to my wife about this at the weekend and telling her that everything was about not talking, about not being able to talk. Everything. All of it. It’s all been about that. That I’ve spent weeks with you talking about not talking. About distraction. Circling it. I realised. And I’m good at it. It’s well practised. I’ve spent years not talking, about learning how not to talk. About avoiding conversations. I mean people know. You know. But it’s just enough, just enough when people need to know, when it’s unavoidable. And I don’t talk, and I can digress and divert and not talk for ages. It’s a skill. An art. I do it exceptionally well. I’ve had to. I’ve had to. To not talk.
I turn away from the corner of the room I had been focusing on and face her and she nods again, and she tells me she had wondered how long it would take me to realise that.
And I know then that this is the Dr Spielvogel moment. That from now we perhaps to begin.