writing as therapy (and why it should be banned)

J: I’m having an awful memory lapse.

R: ?

J: I can’t remember whether Ollie has died. (Ollie is his marmalade tomcat.)

R: I don’t think so. Peanut died.

J: Yeah.

R (maudlin): And Alfie. And Cinnamon and Nutmeg and Sugar and Candy…

J: Sugar died on your brother’s birthday.

R: I was twelve. I was very sad!


R: I wrote a poem.

J (politely): Oh?

R: Let me see if I can remember… Yes. Ahem.

A wound so raw and open
A scar too deep to heal
A hole in the world
The size of a dog
O Sugar!
Come back!
Come back!

We howl with laughter.

R (dabbing eyes): I was very sad.

J: Yes.

R: But that’s a bad poem.

J: No! It’s a perfect example of the teen angst genre! Well, preteen angst, I suppose…

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