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The Pigeon and the Psychiatrist

The pigeon knows how to perch on a ledge.
The psychiatrist allegedly has knowledge you can purchase.

The pigeon may shit on your head.
The psychiatrist is more reticent about it:
He tries to get inside your head before he shits.

The pigeon struts and pecks and copulates and picks
mites out of his mottled feathers,
but the pigeon has developed these skills
over millions of years of evolutionary selection,
whereas, the psychiatrist, having had only 12 years
of study to develop his skills, can manage
strutting, pecking and copulating, but nothing as useful
as picking mites out of his or your hair.

When the pigeon turns his head aside,
he is looking at you.
When the psychiatrist turns his head aside,
he is looking at a machine in his mind
that tells him what to say next.
When the pigeon faces you directly,
the pigeon cannot see you well.
When the psychiatrist faces you directly,
he cannot see you at all.

The pigeon coos and coos.
The psychiatrist is cuckoo. (Like the cuckoo,
he'll try to put his own emotions
into your nest, tossing yours out,
so that you can sit in your head, brooding
over all his insanities. He hopes, when they hatch,
you will feed them as your own, though they don't
look at all like you.)

If you attach a message to a properly trained pigeon,
he will deliver it. You are not allowed to attach anything
to a psychiatrist. You may try to give him a message
(orally or in writing) to relay, but he feels he knows
what you want to say better than you do, and will
relay only what he has already decided your message
should be. It is safest to tell him what he wants
to hear from you. Or perhaps not.

The pigeon fouls our statues with droppings.
The psychiatrist fouls our statutes with bullshit:
expert testimony absolving criminals of responsibility
(guilt isn't good for their self-esteem), while loopholes
are created to legitimize psychiatric fraud, drug-pushing,
kidnaping, rape, murder and other therapeutic modalities.

If you make sudden movements toward the pigeon,
it will probably flutter away - if only briefly.
If you make sudden movements toward the psychiatrist,
there are several possible outcomes, depending
on circumstances: you may be raped, drugged, shocked,
arrested for murder of a psychiatrist (the happiest outcome,
perhaps), or persuaded to sit back down and made to spend
the next six months discovering the deep-down sources
of your hostile feelings about the psychiatrist.

The pigeon shows no concern for the deep-down sources
of your hostile feelings about pigeons. Pigeons don't
explain much and don't expect explanations.
Psychiatrists explain everything (including their own
actions) and demand explanations of everything,
except for the ones who have studied at a different school
and forbid all explanations, for example, those who simply
sit on your face until you stop behaving inappropriately.

The pigeon doesn't try to feel what you are feeling.
The pigeon's empathy is limited to whatever rapport
is established by copulating or cuddling
with another pigeon. Some psychiatrists try to empathize,
and might succeed, if they could see you to empathize with you,
and might see you if they could confront what they look at,
and would be able to confront it, if they were there
to confront it, but psychiatrists are almost never there,
neither here nor there, but are lost in the debris
of their mis-education and the destruction they've wrought
and the complex vocabulary that has justified that destruction....
POOR psychiatrist, terrified, running up and down
the dike, plugging hole after hole (no end of leaks)
against a menacing flood of self-awareness, leaving
an educated machine to face you, perhaps a pert machine,
bright-eyed, quick, abrupt, a pigeon after all.

When next you talk to a psychiatrist, imagine
you are talking to a pigeon, realize that it is
(compared to you) a tiny thing, that it stares at you
so intensely with its red-rimmed beady eyes,
not because it is wise or interested, but because
it fears you, that its twitchy machinery disguises
the brevity of its attention span, that each thoughtful
mannerism, each puffing up of professional dignity
is a response to the perpetual itch from a million
tiny mites; look at it strut and peck at what it thinks
is you, how small and noisy it is! And you,
you've become huge (you must have, because
the little man-bird has shrunk so - that's why
we call him a shrink!), larger than his office,

but don't tell him; he's already afraid of you;
let him cast long, intense gazes into your
body's eyes; make your mouth recite
the appropriate liturgy; don't upset him.
Let him imagine you are as small as he is.
Thank him for his help. Depart. Leave him
happily cooing and pecking at his mites.

(Don't try to help him. He knows all too well
how dangerous help is. It is much easier -
and probably more beneficial to humanity --
to help a pigeon.)

copyright c. 2006 by Dean Blehert. All Rights Reserved


Last updated: December 30, 2005