Gregson was ushered into another invisible doorway. The office was covered in valentine hearts and birds hanging from the ceiling on fine threads. They were coo coo birds, which seemed appropriate for the office of a psychoanalyst, Gregson thought.
A woman entered the room in a tight-fitting skirt and a silk blouse. She had strawberry blonde hair and very kissable lips.
“How long do I have to wait?” Gregson asked.
“Not long; I’m Doctor Swanson.” She said this, not with authority or superiority, but casual comfort, like she had settled into her profession.
“Why don’t you lie down on my couch?” Gregson followed her into the next room, where a Freudian Bed rested in the corner.
“Face down, please.”
Gregson did as he was told. It was comfortable to be ordered around by a woman in charge, and he found himself getting drowsy.
“Now, I’m just going to put the straps on.”
“Straps?” Gregson asked.
“It’s so you don’t move around and lose concentration. I’ll be asking you lots of questions, and I’ll be giving you a massage too, so I’ll need to take-off your shirt. Gregson’s polo was easy enough to slip up, and Dr. Swanson started rubbing hot oils on his back. Her hands were stronger than a man’s, and Gregson felt vulnerable for the first time. It gave him an erotic feeling, like his inner beast was being subdued.
“Now, what do you want that you don’t have?” Dr. Swanson asked.
“Thai food,” Gregson said. Dr. Swanson made some notes and kept rubbing. The hair on his back was getting matted. “You are a man,” Dr. Swanson commented. “Now, just the filler information. Where do you live?”
“In my imagination,” Gregson said.
“And why are you here?”
“I’m tracking down an ex-husband.”
“Okay. Now I’m going to name-off some fruits. Listen carefully. Apple. Banana. Orange. Blueberry. Grape. Peach. Which one do you identify with?”
“Banana,” Gregson said.
“Which one do you want to eat?” Dr. Swan asked.
“Interesting… Now I want you to look at these ink blots. What do you see?”
“Girls on the beach. Girls giving a guy a massage. Girls… I’m sorry Dr. Swanson, do you want me to say?”
“I think I got it. A fixation on sex. Okay. What is your grandest ambition?”
“To take an adventure I can never come back from, and be puzzled by a mystery I can never solve.”
“You check-out just fine. A most unusual personality,” Dr. Swanson said. “Now how about taking me out on a date?”
“Would love to, but I already have a dinner date at 5 with the Master, and it looks like I might be late. How about taking off these straps…?”
Dr. Swanson thought about it, and paused for a long moment.
She eventually undid the leather straps with hesitating fingers.
Gregson hated to disappoint a woman, especially a doctor as hot as Doctor Swanson, but investigating always came first; the woman would be investigated later.