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The DTs
by Phil Temples

“It’s over!” sobbed the patient.

She grabbed a wad of Kleenex from the psychiatrist and proceeded to blow. The loud, trumpeting noise sounded quite comical. He kept the smile off his face and tried to reassure her.

“Have you and Harry discussed this?” he asked.

“I’ve tried, but he ignores me,” she replied. “It’s as though I no longer exist to him.”

“I see.”

She continued. “Harry has gone through some big changes in the past few months. First, there was the therapy, then--drug rehab. He attends an AA meeting nearly every night of the week. He’s really turned his life around for the better. But... but...”

The sniffles gave way to another full-blown cry.

“...There doesn’t seem to be room for me in his life anymore!”

The therapist pondered this last statement for a moment. He chose his words carefully.

“Sometimes people just... change. Their attitudes about themselves and about others--even their life goals can abruptly take a different course. You haven’t done anything wrong. It’s not your fault. I hope you see this, yes?”

“I guess so.”

She blew into a big wad of tissues again. This time, the noise was so loud it caused him to wince. He reached for another box of Kleenex to replace the one she had decimated in the short time of their session.

“Harry seems so happy these days. He’s sober now. He no longer has the DTs.”

“You need to consider the idea that you might no longer be a part of Harry’s life.” The therapist made this statement in a soft, soothing manner. More upbeat, he added, “We should talk about you--about your life, and your goals. Right?”

“Yes. I guess so,” she said, meekly.


The physician reached down into his desk drawer and drew out a bottle of Scotch. He replenished his glass. The liquid splashed over the ice, making a comforting sound. He gulped a large mouthful. It went down nice and smooth. The Scotch soothed his jittery nerves.

“Oh, I’m sorry—that was thoughtless of me. Would you like a drink, too?” asked the psychiatrist.

“No thanks.”

The smallish, petite, pink pachyderm added, “I never touch the stuff, myself.”