xún xù jiàn jìn :: please take note of the proper sequence
by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Dr. Eichelberger had a habit of rotating his head, to get his blood circulating, he said. He did this frequently while he was saying something, usually something he found difficult to say, like an assessment, which wasn’t forthcoming of therapists in general. Or a self-help method to take home, like self-administering antihistamines for hay fever. The idea of cognitive therapy actually working got him into a tangle, as if any possible success of thinking one’s way out of life’s problems was a long shot, something he needed to wrap his head around. Narrative therapy was his modus operandi, and he was known to be good at it. Dr. Eichelberger took his time with letting his clients reveal their own pasts, their thoughts about different life situations, even current affairs, if they were into that. They would understand their neuroses better, and everyone had neuroses. What was Dr. Eichelberger’s neuroses, Gigi wondered. She asked him once, and all he gave was a smile, which already seemed to be something of an effort on his part. This one-way street of communication wasn’t choice for Gigi, but it seemed to counterpoint the kinds of communication she enjoyed with other men, which was reciprocal. Not always happy circumstances, of equal relations, but at the very least, two people were talking to each other, learning more about each other. Even if one inevitably seemed more keen or needy. Or in the moment. There was an acorn right at the tip of her forefinger, by the left. It seemed to teeter on its point, its embroidery a bit frayed. So many people must have told their stories on this couch. So many memories have filled this room, and how many have receded to the place from which they came.
More excerpts from “Gigi’s Graphologist & The Ngadhu Gecko” to come.
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé helms Squircle Line Press as its founding editor and publisher. He is the author of The Arbitrary Sign (Red Wheelbarrow Books), with I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist(Math Paper Press) forthcoming in 2014. He has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations. A former entertainment journalist with 8 Days, Desmond has traveled to Australia, France, Hong Kong and Spain for his stories, which have included features on Madonna, Björk and Morgan Freeman, culminating in the authorship of the limited edition Top Ten TCS Stars for Caldecott Publishing. Trained in publishing at Stanford University, Desmond studied sociology and mass communication at the National University of Singapore, and later received his theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his ceramic works housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. He is the recipient of the PEN American Center Shorts Prize, Swale Life Poetry Prize, Cyclamens & Swords Poetry Prize, Notre Dame Poetry Fellowship, NAC Writer-in-the-Gardens Residency, Stepping Stones Nigeria Poetry Prize, and Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize.