The patient, on the couch. The analyst behind seated in a chair.
PATIENT: Yes, yes, I did what you advised me. I asked for a divorce. Only she said no.
DOCTOR: But you didn’t insist
PATIENT: Oh, you don’t know her, doctor. When she says no, you better not ask again if you don’t want to end up with a black eye
DOCTOR: But it was not about asking. It was about claiming that you want a divorce
PATIENT: Then it’s for sure that I would have ended up with both black eyes. You don’t know her, doctor
DOCTOR: No, nor do I have the slightest interest after everything you have told me, frankly. How did you happen to fall in love with a woman like that?
PATIENT: Oh, I was never in love with her, doctor. It was an arranged marriage. I had no other choice
DOCTOR: But you knew her as a child. You knew what her temperament was. I guess at least you would show some opposition when her parents announced the arrangement.
PATIENT: No, no, it wasn’t her parents, nor mine, who arranged the marriage.
DOCTOR: So who arranged it?
PATIENT: It was she who decided that we should get married
DOCTOR: But an arrangement is a matter of two. And you say you had no other choice
PATIENT: If I had said no, she would have made my life unbearable, doctor. You don’t know her
DOCTOR: But from what you tell me, she has made your life unbearable by marrying you
PATIENT: That’s why I told you that I had no other choice. Whether I married her or not, she would have made my life unbearable.
DOCTOR: I don’t understand that logic, frankly
PATIENT: You don’t know her, doctor. When she sets her mind on something, there’s no changing it. And she was infatuated with me.
DOCTOR: Well, after hearing this, the world seems to me still more dangerous than I thought. It’s a good thing you didn’t have children
PATIENT: To have children, you must have sex
DOCTOR: Have you never had sex with your wife?!
PATIENT: Oh no, God forbid!
DOCTOR: I see. Then you at least imposed your will on something by refusing to sleep with her.
PATIENT: No, no. It was she who refused to sleep with me. Then I regretted it, but now I thank Heaven!
DOCTOR: But haven’t you said that she was infatuated with you?
PATIENT: It’s with my money that she was infatuated
DOCTOR: Then, why didn’t you let her marry your money? Thereby you would have been free.
PATIENT: Free, but poor.
DOCTOR: Better to be poor and free than to be rich and a slave, don’t you think?
PATIENT: In this I must agree with you. If I could go back, that’s what I would do. I would give her my money in exchange for her leaving me alone. But what’s done is done.
DOCTOR: But there must be some remedy. Why don’t you run away?
PATIENT: Run away?! And how evident it is that you don’t know her, doctor!
DOCTOR: Stop saying I don’t know her, will you?
PATIENT: Do you know her?
DOCTOR: No. But it bothers me that you are saying all the time “You don’t know her”, “You don’t know her”.
PATIENT: I’m sorry. It’s that you have to know her to get an idea of …
DOCTOR: And she wouldn’t agree on divorce if you offered money to her?
PATIENT: What money?
DOCTOR: Don’t you say it’s your money that she’s infatuated with?
PATIENT: Oh, but the money ran out a long time ago. She spent it all with her lovers
DOCTOR: What a hag! But then why doesn’t she want to grant you a divorce?
PATIENT: God knows!
DOCTOR: You only asked for it once. You should keep insisting
PATIENT: Oh, insist! You don’t know her, doctor
DOCTOR: Please, don’t repeat again that I don’t know her!
PATIENT: Sorry. I had forgotten.