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Sometimes, though not all that often, my psychoanalyst makes me laugh. These occasions, when he seems to slip out of analytic stance, stick in my mind.

Once, I was talking about how my father was always late. We would run through airports while they paged us, the plane growling on some scorched runway. My analyst commented that mine wasn’t the sort of father who had a timetable. I imagined Dad, a shambolic, weathered, chain smoking, hard-drinking war correspondent, standing in a bus shelter shaking out his umbrella and checking the coach timetable. I laughed.

“No,” I said. “He wasn’t.”


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