I just ducked into a cafe after getting caught in a mean downpour. I had an umbrella, but I am nonetheless soaked, thighs-down-through-socks, thanks to wind-driven horizontal rainfall and flooding that occurred in a matter of minutes. Since I'm not in a rush to be anywhere, I think I'll write for a bit while I dry out.
This will be a free association post. I haven't done one of those in a looong time, so here goes, and we'll see where it goes.
My schedule is unhurried because this week and next, and the next after that, are vacay, though not entirely. I won't be seeing patients, but I have a few business matters to take care of and a couple of reports to write. Other than that, I'll enjoy a break from work before powering through a hectic January to June schedule.
Speaking of business matters, earlier today, I ordered $613 worth of testing supplies and was shocked to see a $73 estimated sales tax charge. That's over 11%. I wonder why I hadn't noticed that before. That sales tax is some combination of state, county and city tax.
IIRC, our sales tax is going to increase again in January, though our state income tax for 2015 decreased from a flat rate of 5% to 3.75% after an emergency increase in the income tax lapsed last January. Along with the sales tax increase, property taxes are also going to rise. A lot.
Still farther down the road, I expect that the state income tax will rise again and Chicago property taxes and fees will be raised further because neither the city nor the state are taking in enough money to meet obligations.
On the state side of the problem, I hold pols from both parties responsible for failing, for years, to insist on making the state's side of pension contributions, though I reserve a special animus for Michael Madigan, the grubby little Boss of the Illinois House. As for the city, I don't blame Rahm. Daley, that fucking fucker, fucked us, leaving behind a huge mess for his successor to clean up while he rakes in the big bucks in his retirement years. He also has his own fancy government pension arrangement worth nearly $180k per year.
This discussion is boring. Thought rupture.
The movie Carol is the selection for the next film group meeting, so that's on the agenda for this weekend or some time next week. Recently, we saw Theeb and James White. Both garnered positive reviews and both were disappointing. To me.
Theeb is cinematically beautiful, starkly haunting, but ultimately I felt there wasn't much there, though 96% of reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes would disagree. James White seemed like it had great potential as a movie with something to say about time, loss and death, but I don't think the filmmaker really knew what to say about all that. Also, Cynthia Nixon's slow demise was tedious.
A friend contacted me yesterday to say that a coworker of his died suddenly this week. He was a psychologist, an acquaintance and, based on what I knew of him, I'd say he was a good man. Not just saying that. I think he was notably good. His death was sudden and at a young age by contemporary standards, so it was shocking to me.
After I learned of this, I felt a twinge of guilt. Most people feel at least an evanescent twinge of guilt if not a lot more guilt when someone they know dies, though most bury and banish such thoughts. These thoughts tend to emerge in therapy as revelations when patients discuss deaths with someone (a psychotherapist) who is noticing the subtleties and implications of the patient's words (If the therapist is a therapist who listens to more than the manifest content of the session). Anyway, I thought about all that after I heard about this death.
There are many reasons we experience guilt when people we know die, but I'm not going to get into that right now because I want to tell you about a dream I had last night. I dreamt that I was with a group of people who were somehow guilty yet not guilty of a murder. I was paired in the dream with a young, pretty woman, who felt like my wife but she wasn't. Anyway, we were trying to elude detection and capture by authorities, and it wasn't going well.
When I woke up this morning I thought, what the hell was that about? Pretty quickly, I put things together. Deaths resonate with other deaths about which we may feel residual, even if irrational guilt, and I think that's what the death of this psychologist stirred in me, and that was what was gaining expression in my dream.
Anyway, I never know where these free association posts are going, but they always seem to begin rather impersonally and end up in more sensitive areas of my personal thoughts. That's what happens with free associations. That's just one reason free association is useful in analysis and psychotherapy, and that's why some people have a hard time letting themselves free associate when in the company of a therapist. It can take a person to upsetting places that they'd rather not be aware of or think about. But then, sometimes, there is relief when the deeper truth of one's thoughts and feelings are acknowledged and owned.