What’s with this new haircut? Did she chop off all her hair in reaction to a festering sameness in her life? Is the rote existence of wearing the same six patterned shirts to the same office to hear from the same people, then driving home to the same house and the same husband and having the same conversations tearing her apart inside? Or does she like routine?
What’s in that thermos? Is it rosé? Would she be willing to share if it was rosé? If she’s willing to share, would she be willing to switch to Chardonnay? Or is she on a wine-of-the-month rotation?
Does she think we’d be friends if we met under different circumstances? If we met in the throw-pillow aisle at Pottery Barn and she asked “What do you think of that grey one?” and I guided her toward a better pillow after she showed me pictures of her living room, and then I helped her pick out some candle sticks and a wall hanging, would we have exchanged numbers and gone for tea? Or would she insist on rosé?
Has she ever cried to a Barbra Streisand song? Did she dance her first middle school slow dance to “The Way We Were” with a kid named Trevor with a bowl cut? Did Trevor break her heart after a beautiful three-week relationship? Does that song still spark feelings of abandonment and sorrow in her? Or is she more of a Dolly Parton “Jolene” crier?
Does she have any single male patients who are emotionally available whom she’d recommend for me? Would she mind if I hung out in the waiting room trying to meet them, or would she prefer to give me their numbers?
Is she allowed to have favorites? Am I her favorite?
Does she think I subconsciously save up all my emotional recklessness for the week she’s on vacation, so that I can blame it on her? Is she cool with that?
Can I add her on Snapchat?
Would she date my father?
Did she like “Annie Hall”? As a tall woman, does she see Diane Keaton as a kindred spirit? Did she go through a phase in college where she wore bowlers and collared shirts and little vests?
Does she think we look alike? Does she wonder if she looks like my mother? Does she wonder if I think she wonders if she looks like my mother?
Does she think she’s a good shrink? Does she think she’s better than my mother’s shrink?
Who did those sketches of walnuts on the back wall of the office? Was the artist her former lover? Did he leave them outside the door of her fourth-floor walkup when she was 27 with a note taped to the frame?
Does she think I’m funny? Does she think she’s funnier than I am? Does she think I laugh enough at her jokes? Are those actually jokes?
Does she think I ask too many questions?
Would she let me give her a makeover? If I was moving away and wasn’t going to be her patient anymore, would she go to Bloomingdale’s with me my last weekend in town and let me help her find better-fitting sweaters? Or does she think I’d be too critical of her sartorial choices?
Is there any rosé left?
I bet Jeremy drank it all.