Fifty Minutes with my Mother’s Shrink Jeremy Schnotala 116 My mother doesn’t know I’m here, sitting in her shrink’s office, one last try to save the relationship she ended two years ago when I told her I was queer. “You are not a lesbian, Jessie. Just stop it,” she said, like I was a teenager again and just biting my nails or dying my hair a color she didn’t like. When it sunk in, she crumpled to the floor. We haven’t spoken since. I look around the office. It’s obvious shrink might be too honorable a word for this man she visits every Tuesday in the church basement after her Bible study just up the stairs. I wonder if he even has a license. I don’t see one hanging on the wall. Not even a printout from an online course. Regard- less, he’s charging me $84.00 for fifty minutes. I could buy new pair of Chaco’s or a one-hour massage or a week’s worth of groceries at Aldo with $84.00, I think. But I’m trying to save the relationship. Suddenly save the relationship sounds like something an elderly person would say. I try to make myself comfortable like the church secretary said when she pointed down the hallway. “The door with the multi-colored cross on it, dear,” she said. “He’ll be there in just a moment.” I’m sure this is the way of counsel- ors, even though I’ve never spoken to one in my whole life. Some power grab in the wait. I can play the game, I think. His office used to be a Sun- day school classroom. I can tell because of the clutter pushed off to one corner—a stack of dingy, white Bibles; a plastic, see-through tub of Noah’s Ark toys; a felt board with a Moses missing a leg; and a stack of twelve red wooden chairs that each have the name of a disciple on them. Even a Judas. Behind the junk, there’s a faded mural on the wall that reads “Jesus Loves the Little Children” in faded, hand-painted letters. Underneath it, there’s a crowd of little kids around a Jesus holding a dark-skinned child in his white arms. Of course he is, I think.