Tag Archives: character

bella, the girl

her name was not bella, of course, but she had a name that one would call a dog. she had matched her fluro orange blouse to her fluro orange patent pumps to her fluro orange bangle to her fluro orange handbag. she was blonde-blonde. big eyed. tattooed.

she drank quickly from a mixture in a water bottle, and when she was finished she went out to get vodka. she went missing and we watched her follow a guy in a singlet up the street, gesturing wildly. 

“i think i need to adopt her,” said my housemate, “she needs help sorting her shit out.”

she’d checked in to a hotel with her boyfriend. it didn’t work out, and she left him there to gather a debt in her name. she found this out when we were at a bar. i’d met my parents for an afternoon drink there earlier, and bella had arrived later with my housemate. they work together, bella and my housemate, at a leagues club.

at one point in the night bella turned to me and asked “where is your bra?!” i was wearing pink floral. no bra. hers was visible, straps protruding from her sleeves. her eyeliner, oh god, i imagined wiping it off.


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clara-lou, psychotheraphist.

it was actually only about this time last year that i began seeing clara-lou (not her real name). clara-lou ran a practice from a second storey room in her inner-west terrace. she had a wonderful curly-haired maltese x poodle whose name i forget, who sat pensively in the corner of all therapy sessions. i would coddle the puppy, and clara-lou would take this as a sign of my own submissiveness. “animals must be tamed,” she would say. did she love the dog? it’s hard to know.

my gosh i cried in that little room overlooking a bunch of other geometrical pavered squares that pass for backyards. the lines of the yards didn’t quite line up the way i would have liked to see, and i’d imagine pushing them into neat parallels as i cried and clara-lou watched. i could feel my face burning and clara-lou watched. then she’d say something biting, and i’d think “holy shit, she’s right!” she shamed me into sorting my shit out.

clara-lou was a visionary. clara-lou was the antithesis to my teenage counsellor who used to look at me with such wide eyes, clasp her hands and announce “oh that must be so difficult!” clara-lou was not interested in me, she was interested in her own study, in bettering her own practice by fixing me. i was a result to her. she charted my progress on a graph. and yes, i improved. there was a line on clara-lou’s graph that marked the point where i was no longer drowning in sorrow but had my head above water again (clara-lou’s cliche, not mine).

whatever. clara-lou and i had a disagreement. she wanted me to see a health specialist for an illness i was sure i did not have. clara-lou would not accept my GP’s non-diagnosis of said illness.

“if it was your dog, you would get a second opinion!” said the woman whose dog has a homeopath.

“nope,” i said, “if it was my dog i would trust that her vet knows better than i do.”

clara-lou pressed on. i did not budge.

“your face is closed, like you feel resentment,” said clara-lou.

“no,” i said, “i’m just finished with this conversation.” i was not paying her $180 per session to talk about blood tests. that was our last session.

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