"It’s gonna rain,” I said, looking out and up from my fourth-story office window in the Clemensdale Professional building. I was beginning to get a little “steamy” under the collar, primarily because I was not in the best of moods; but also, I had the morbid sensation that my life was very quickly heading nowhere. Apart from that, the erratic weather was going to ruin the outing Jazmin and I had planned. To be more precise, the Ontario Place visit, which Carly anxiously anticipated.
“Beatrice, do we have any more appointments scheduled for today?”
“No, Doctor, Mrs . Palmiero called and canceled her son’s four-thirty appointment.”
Naturally I thought. Why waste time and effort on a useless remedy? If Albert wasn’t ready to put away his childhood and begin accepting the challenges of adulthood, his world would still revolve around Power Rangers and Loony Tunes at sixteen or sixty-one. It’s not like I hadn’t tried reaching him. Lord knows, I’d practically exhausted my means. It’s just that every time I managed to get closer to him, he took a quick step back and built another wall defending the spot where he left behind.
“Beatrice, is Mr Towanna still scheduled for tomorrow?”
“Towanka. Yes, Doctor, he’s still scheduled for his nine o’clock.”
“Thank you, Beatrice.”
Marcel Towanka, twenty-one years old, and a construction worker by trade, was half French-Canadian, half Native Indian. He came to me one day with a very interesting proposition. According to this self-proclaimed “Dragon Chaser,” once, under the influence of drugs that helped him to “psychically travel,” he encountered a tribal ancestor known as a shaman. The grim elder warned Marcel of the dangerous path he had chosen. The shaman severely pointed out how their race was on the verge of extinction, and the young man’s negative conduct was helping to speed up the burn of their long-rooted heritage and proud millennial traditions.
That’s when this young native came to see me. He literally begged me to help him get reacquainted with his lost traits. It’s been nearly four months now since our first meeting, and I am proud—no, that’s not the right word—I am thrilled that Marcel Towanka has not consumed anything more stimulating than aspirin, or drunk anything more relaxing than herbal tea, for over two months now. As for his heritage, Marcel attends religious ceremonial rituals held biweekly on sacred conservation grounds, as well as taking part in Native Indian arts and crafts.
It is said that when a man’s future looks shaded with gloom, he should attempt turning over a new leaf. The way I see it, this young man, armed only with native courage and fueled entirely with compassion, had managed to turn over an entire season. Regarding my role in his quest for spiritual freedom, all I can say is that he is the artist, the master who, day by day, piece by piece, painstakingly chipped away at his monumental totem pole, in honor of the great warriors of the past and the ones yet to come. I, his humble assistant, merely swept away all the flying dirt and debris, clearing the path for all those who wish to come and see the work of a genius.
My time with Marcel is quickly coming to an end; although this man wishes to continue therapy, and I equally wish to continue to help him. I must honor him and let him go, for he no longer needs my help. Ironic though as it may seem, he never really did.