17 Must-Read Books for the New Year
In the aftermath of the stroke, their relationship, already unconventional for a doctor and a patient (they dined out together; the analyst touched Peacock’s hand during a session as she cried), evolves further as Peacock visits the therapist at her home. The reader projects herself into this most private dynamic, whose boundaries—“thin / blue lines on a gray pottery jar”—have all but disappeared.
Peacock acknowledges that the desire to be heard is among a human’s most basic needs, but now she learns that the experience is equally meaningful to the listener. “I want / you to know,” the analyst tells Peacock after her stroke, “how much I / care about you.”
Peacock brings us into the consulting room with her— first supine on the couch, then free to sit up and face the analyst, not as a patient but as one person to another. That move enables us to accept neutrally, as would a therapist, whatever comes to mind, to pull up a chair, “listen, question, watch things heal.”