The small blue Victorian house sits close to its neighbors on a secluded street edged with fully grown trees in one of the oldest parts of town. Cracked and worn with time, the sidewalk surrounds a finely manicured lawn, which I notice — unlike mine— contains no weeds. Painted steps lead the way to a porch at the front door where I stand for a long time, heart racing with anticipation. Tap- tap- tap, I wrap lightly with nervous knuckles on the door before me, in case I’m lost, which happens much too often. The number above the door matches the one on the crumpled paper I left in the car, so this must be the right place. I try again. Tap- tap- tap and the door opens inward.
Bent forward with one hand on the doorknob and the other covering her mouth while trying to swallow, she seems caught off guard…surprised. I knew it! I’ve come to the wrong place. Someone lives here. I’ve interrupted lunch. This can’t possibly be the Doctor’s office. I’m only ten minutes early… thoughts come like an automatic machine gun unloading a full clip.
“Oh… hello,” she motions me in with her free hand after a quick glance at her watch, still covering her mouth.
“I have an appointment” I say with some confidence, and follow her to… a living room? No… a waiting room. I see— this old house has been converted into offices. Relieved that I’m in the right place, the tightness in my chest eases slightly.
“You’re a little early.” She smiles at me, having finally swallowed whatever food she was hurriedly trying to eat. “Have a seat and I’ll be back out in a few minutes.” How could anyone be disturbed about someone being early for an appointment? I’m always early.
Before choosing a seat, I survey my choices in the nicely decorated room, glad to be alone. The black leather sofa appears too cushy and faces the wall, not a position I like to be in, so I choose the matching leather chair facing it and sit down on the edge.
I want to knit, but still a little tense, I look over the neatly stacked rows of magazines on the over-size coffee table; nothing interesting here. “What is that white noise?” I blurt, immediately regretting the sound of my own voice. Soothing and mysteriously hidden—clever for a therapist to have whatever it was gurgling throughout the waiting room. I really need to knit.
Drawn to the sun streaming through the windows in the west corner of the room, I pick up my bag and move to a more familiar reception room chair. Not happy with the location, I push it into the corner next to a tall, well watered plant. Hoping not to get in trouble, I ease the slatted wooden shutters open so that when seated, the sun could shine directly on my always cold fingers. This is a perfect spot for knitting. With the wool in my hands and the chart on my knee, I drift to the place that it takes me and, oblivious to time, let it consume me.