An Abundance Of Vagueness


ariel_icon.gif diogenes_icon.gif

Scene Title An Abundance Of Vagueness
Synopsis Diogenes' first appointment with Ariel is filled with alot of 'for examples'…
Date July 8, 2009

Office of Ariel Martinez

She was awoken early in the morning when Colby was called with the news of the death of a leader within the NYPD, it took a while for Ariel to get back to sleep. Morning came too soon for the counselor as she picked up some coffee and some breakfast as she went to the office for her first appointment of the day. This would be their first appointment and she spend a few moments having him fill out some paperwork.

Once all the formalities were taken care of, she brought him into her office where she has a couple of very comfortable chairs. She takes her legal pad and a pen and sets it on the table next to her as she looks across the way at him. "I know you've written it down, but I'd like to hear it in your own words. What prompted you to feel like you need to come see me?" She offers a warm smile as she leans back. She's not taking notes now, just listening.

Thomas had arrived to the building where Ariel works quite earlier than she did. Having stood farther away from bypassers, having waited for the psychiatrist to arrive, the young man who has named himself after the Greek philosopher seemed to have amazing patience. Nothing but his inner world offered him company - the torrent of questions and worries that stirred up thoughts within his troubled mind. Eventually, upon Ariel's arrival, Thomas would nod in greeting and rush to fill out all the paperwork he was given. This was his most hated part. Filling out forms and questionnaires with what he found to be redundant and trivial questions. Well, that and actually becomig socially comfortable with spilling out his inner self in front of a complete stranger.

"I'm not entirely sure", he answers her question after what would be recognised as a moment of awkward silence, "Even now, I am having my doubts and wondering whether I did the right thing… coming here." Peculiarly enough, he oftened averted his gaze and only occasionally his glance would meet Ariel.

There's no hint of judgement at this admission. Ariel nods, smiling as she always does sincerely. "It's quite alright, really. It's actually very common for those who come to see me for the first time to question whether it's the right thing to do. I guess the best I can offer you for a solution is that whatever it is you're dealing with, you have been unable to do it alone, which is why you've sought help in the first place."

She folds her hands in her lap as she tucks a leg underneath her in the comfortable chair. "If you leave now, you'll be where you started from with no indication at to whether or not it was the right thing, where if you stay and at least talk to me for the hour that you're here, perhaps you'll at least have something to consider if you do decide it's not for you."

Perhaps the most confusing mechanic of socialisation for Diogenes was positioning and mannerisms. Whereas a certain gesture often served as a single page of a book that comprised an individual's personality, Thomas was odd in that he fairly often switched his gestures and manners. From attaining an ostensibly relaxed posture with both of his forearms resting on the chair's arm-rests, to anxiously running his palms up and down his thighs - he was like a chameleon in front of a persistently changing background. One could argue, though, that that alone was the page of his book. "Yeah, I know", he replies to the fact that he will leave empty-handed should he do so now. "I usually deal with problems by thinking aloud… or talking to myself, whichever is the appropriate psychological… term", he admits, stiffly lifting up a hand to gesture towards Ariel.

Give it another moment of silence, and Thomas would speak up regardless of whether Ariel has spoken, effectively interrupting her if that's what's needed to say what he wanted to: "I have questions that I can't answer. Questions that you can't answer, either. And the absence of ultimate knowledge in our world is depressing me greatly. This… negativity… I just can't shake it off. People learn to ignore what plagues them, but I fail to do so. I can't ignore the obstacle before me, can I?"

If anything that he does comes across as unusual to her, Ariel would not give any outward indication. She nods as he speaks, doesn't interrupt, nor offer any insight until he is completely finished speaking. For her, it's more important that he talk, then she talk. She smiles comfortingly when he finishes, nodding. "So, these questions you have. They sound important. I'm not going to say I have answers, but there's nothing wrong with a little brainstorming. If I can help, I will. I am not certain I can offer concrete answers, but perhaps together we can at least point you in the right direction with whatever it is that's disturbing you."

It is quite difficult for Tom to converse whilst in a seated position. It seems to constrain both his body and mind. Ultimately, he rises out of his chair in a rigid manner, similarly to most of his gestures. Again, he would point towards the psychiatrist with a hand whilst looking aside before speaking up: "Alright, let's start with something small. Do you have kids? Sister, brother? A husband?" His steel gaze falls on Ariel, his facial expression becoming colder, the confusion and anxiety retreating beneath the thick layer of ice. "What if they were Evolved? Some of them still hide. And given some of the fanatics rampant on the streets, I don't blame them." A couple of steps are taken away from Ariel, and his gaze wanders off, as well. "Any one or all of your close ones could be hiding their ability from you. Maybe they've even done something they're not proud of and keep it locked away. How can you be so sure to trust even someone you might hold dear and love?"

Perhaps a little too trusting, Tom's sudden rise doesn't seem to startled Ariel in the least. She tilts her head listening as he speaks. "That doesn't necessarily seems small, but let us say that I did have a family member who was gifted with an ability. These abilities do not manifest at birth, so my question to you would be this: Were they someone you trusted before? Have they given you any reason to not trust them? And if they do have an ability, would that affect how you feel about them?"

"This issue in particular pales in comparison to the questions that make me lose sleep at night", he replies, feeling more at ease now that he's up, and Ariel is not at all thrown off by his advance and his invasive questioning. He, on the other hand, is put off by that age old trick of psychiatrists that he was far from fond of. Redirection of questions. It was all part of self-reflection, supposedly, but Diogenes had a different belief - sometimes you have to see another's reflection in order to see your own. "Abilities don't come at birth, yes. All the more reason to hide them. You suddenly cause a coffee cup that slipped out of your grasp to levitate, you freak out, and tell no one. As if nobody knowing of your secret and you denying it will neglect it of its existence." With slow steps, he shortens the distance between himself and Ariel, but doesn't invade her personal space. Not yet, at least. Bringing his unnatural gestures before him, he resumes: "Neither you nor I can know who to trust. Even someone we've known our entire lifetime can do something unexpected and hurt us. How can you unconditionally love those you cherish, if they can betray you any second?"

"Betrayal has intent. The intent to hurt. What it sounds like to me is that you're talking about an accidently injury to someone due to the manfestation of an ability. I think something like that can be forgiven, and I think it should be." Ariel remains seated, looking up at him as he gets closer to her. "Don't you think?" She's not trying to redirect, so to speak, but trying to get him to think about it in an entirely different manner. She's getting the impression that someone hurt him or he hurt someone else with the manifestation of an ability, probably unintentionally. She doesn't voice her opinions, only because it's more important that it come from him, rather than from her.

Diogenes returns to his seat, although he sits down on its very edge, leaning forward. His hands are brought together, fingertips matched with their respective siblings. "Betrayal has intent… as long as everything makes sense. But sometimes, not only can betrayal lack meaning, it can also happen involuntarily on the… 'traitor's' part." Tom's voice had grown quieter, and he was speaking in a low murmur, now. "Imagine an individual who's… part of a native tribe that is at war with… civilised folk - or whatever the opposing faction might be. The two sides downright despise each other. Said man finds an injured woman on his way to his home. He helps her, unaware that it's actually a soldier from the city. Now, what would happen if the natives caught wind of it, hm? He betrayed them by helping their enemies, and he didn't even know it. What would you do in his place… if you knew who she was? Would you still help her?"

Ariel's answer for that is short, and simple. "Yes, I would."

Diogenes cants his head to the side, falling silent. He expected that answer, and yet he was surprised that he was right. He bites down on his lower lip and chews on it harmlessly, still brooding in silence. Eventually, though, he would once again stand to his feet, digging his hands into his pockets. "And that is why you're capable of trusting others. Because you see the good in them. I know that a man - the same man who has an ill reputation involving violence, betrayal, wars, torture and other sort of malevolence - cannot be fully trusted. And that is one of my many problems." He turns away from the shrink, walking over to the nearest window to look down into the street. "I had a bad childhood and have daddy issues, yes. But neither of those are central to what bothers me. They shaped me who I am. And who I am found these problems on his own."

Ariel smiles and shrugs. "Everyone is different. Not everyone is as trusting. Not everyone is as caring. Not everyone is as deceptive. It's what makes this world an interesting place to live in. It's what can make this world a very happy place to be in, and it's what can make this world a very heartbreaking place to survive in." She considers, and continues before he can interject. "All you can do, is what is right by you and those you care about. I don't believe that someone can betray someone by accident. I don't believe it's possible. Betrayal by definition is intentional, not accidental. And accidents can be forgiven."

"Interesting…" That word Ariel has spoken is echoed with a tone heaved under the weight of the speaker's weighty burden. Thomas is just a young adult, and already he loses sleep - rings around his eyes being the proof of that - and has a morbid outlook on life. It could be argued that the man himself poisoned his own days and robbing them of potential happiness. Something he considered time and time again. "It can be both interesting and frustrating. The complexity and uncertainty of it all", he states, shooting a glance over his shoulder at Ariel. "Are you happy?"

"I'm usually happy, yes. That doesn't mean I don't have moments of sadness, or anger, or frustration. I do have all those feelings as well as others. It's a part of life. Whether it's due to outside influences, or perhaps just not taking care of my daily basic needs. It can be physical or psychological." Ariel has not taken a single note during this entire session. She looks at Tom and considers her next question. "What is it that makes you unhappy, Tom? Give me the simplest answer you can possibly find."

Quite like it is easier to communicate whilst standing or moving about, Tom finds it much easier to socialise whilst not making eye-contact. Usually, shyness or the will to hide something were reasons behind it, but for Diogenes, it was distraction. Others' gaze distracted him. "Lack of knowledge. I can't know whether what I do is right, and I can't know whether the person I talk to can be trusted. I can read every book I come across and still know nothing. Like Socrates, all I know of is my own ignorance." Another quick glance is sent in Ariel's direction.

Ariel finally reaches over for her notepad and scribbles something on it. She leaves it in her lap. "Can you give me an example of something you might have done, but you weren't quite sure if it was the right thing to do?"

"Coming to see a shrink, for one", he replies with a smirk on his lips. He turns away from the window and returns to his seat; on his way there, still grinning, he offers a more serious answer: "But that's done, isn't it? And as such, among the list of things I could have done and possibly would have regretted doing them in the long run…" Thomas sits back down in a fashion identical to the one earlier. "I almost killed a man. Strictly as self-defence… You can see how a man of my physical build would find it difficult to actually murder, never mind do it regularly. It was a moment granted to me by Fortune… As if… God himself asked me what will I do." Looking down at the ground, he chortles. "Assuming that a divine entity actually exists. But… I didn't take the opportunity. I couldn't do it."

Ariel watches him as he goes back to his seat and gives him a smiles as she brushes her bangs from in front of her eyes for a moment. "I don't think coming to see a shrink has a right or wrong answer. I think it's more of a choice. Don't confuse the two. There are times when there's a right or a wrong answer, but there are other times when it's just whether to go left or right. Not every decision you make is a life changing decision."

Her tone a little more solemn as she addresses the possibility of murder. "I definitely believe that taking a life is one of those decisions. I think it tells alot about your character that you chose not to follow through with those impulses. But understand, the fact that you have them is something you will have to deal with on a consistent basis and be aware of them. And if you ever find yourself having to make such a decision again, and you need help, you can call. Anytime." She actually answers the phone for several patients throughout the night.

Thomas gives a reluctant nod instead of an actual voiced answer. He digs into Ariel's eyes with his gaze, as if actually searching for something in them. His own eyes seem to radiate sadness and perhaps even a touch of forlornness. Ultimately, he drives his gaze away, just when he parts his lips to speak once again: "I sincerely hope that such a moment… when I'm given the choice to preserve life or invite death… does not visit me a second time. It's… a really difficult choice to make. Who am I to judge who lives and who doesn't, right?" Without a beat, he would continue to ask yet another question: "Look, I know that what I said is important, but I have another question… I'm asking it you as a person, not a psychiatrist. I've had a conflict with someone… We had a nice little plan, I kept her out of the loop, she flipped out… Then I flipped out. I think she… doesn't know what she wants. I don't like instability, but I also feel… guilt? I don't know whether I should meet her again."

Ariel gives a curious glance in his direction. "I'll answer the best I can, but you really haven't given me all the details. Not enough as to where I can answer you honestly. You said 'we' had a plan, but then you kept 'her' out of the loop. So, the plan is different than the loop, or have you contradicted yourself just now?"

Thomas tilts his head and nods a few times simultaneously, arching his brows. "I s'ppose I contradicted myself… I've involved her in my plan, but she didn't knew the full details of it. Only in the middle of its execution did she realise that I did not tell her everything, and she… heh, she hit me. And then I overreacted to her overreaction. I've told her a truth which, as people often do, she most likely misinterpreted as an insult. I'm unsure whether she will try to contact me, and I am not sure whether I want to, either. She's…" Thomas falls silent, furrowing his brows. After a ponderous moment, he lifts his chin and gaze alike. "A complicated person. She is the mirror of the world. Chaos and order seamlessly sewn together. I like that. Maybe too much for my own good. I'm like a moth attracted to a flame. I don't think I want to burn, but… that light sure is tempting."

"Do you consider her a good person? Is she someone you enjoy being around?" Ariel asks, making some notes as she does before her brown eyes look up and across at him.

Another problem Diogenes had is that he always felt the need to disagree with others or at least correct them, even minimally and insubstanstially. Such was the case here. "It is not as simple as that. 'Good' loses its meaning when you enjoy being around someone - and to answer your second question - I do enjoy her company. She might not be good; she has a fine selection of flaws, which arguably outnumber her virtues. But I like her that way. It is our flaws that define us. We are even born with a flaw - the temporary inability to breathe. In a way, a flaw is the spark of our future life. Flaws make us interesting. With the possible exception of my flaw of going off-topic." He flashes a seemingly sincere smile.

Ariel is the least judging person you might meet. "Then I suppose you should meet with her and determine if what you've said you did to her can be forgiven. Right? That sounds like a good first step to me, at least." Her eyes flicker upwards at the clock on the wall. She does have another appointment coming up shortly and she needs to be prepared. "I'm going to ask you to come back and see me next week. I'm also going to ask that perhaps next time you can be a little more specific with the things we talk about. You've been talking about alot of very vague things and I think if we're more specific about what seems to be going on with you, that perhaps progression will come a little faster for you. Does that make sense?"

The moment her gaze veers off towards the clock, he realises the hour is up. Even before she invites him to come next week, he stands with a heavy sigh, remaining silent and patiently waiting for Ariel to finish. And then he would nod lightly, offering a subtle yet wholehearted smile. "Makes perfect sense. I simply didn't want to delve into… certain issues without giving you but a quick glance at the picture. It was… I don't know, a test? Sounds pretty trite, doesn't it? Either way, I won't hold you any longer. It was an interesting hour, I admit." It seems Diogenes is a man who does not focus on social norms or minute niceties; he instantly starts heading towards the door. As soon as he would grab the handle, though, he would turn to Ariel. "Oh, and… what if the soldier wouldn't spare you when you two meet again? What if you become the architect of your own demise?" His smile grows, and his parting words are: "Be careful. Be safe."

She stands when he does and she nods her head. His question is a good one, but the answer she gives him would be the same answer she would give anyone who asked that particular question of her. "Then I would die knowing I was doing what I could to help another person." She doesn't outwardly show it but a small shiver runs up the length of her spine as those words from from her mouth. Ariel offers him a warm smile. "Hey, Tom. Try and have a nice day." She means it.

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