You walk in a few minutes early, sit down and start reading a magazine. The other door is closed, there must be another patient. It's unusually quiet tonight, just smooth jazz on the radio and the white noise machine at the other end of the room. Sometimes there's arguing, sometimes sobbing, sometimes yelling, sometimes all three. But now it's quiet and you flip through an old National Geographic and wonder what you'll talk about tonight.

Suddenly the inner door opens and out they come. It could be a sullen teenager, an older woman, or even a young couple with tears in their eyes, but it's always the same. You both look at each other, try to get a sense of who the other person is, but never make eye contact. To make eye contact is to admit to the outside world what you are doing there.

The questions run through your mind, the same ones that are running through theirs. Why are they here? What were they talking about? What did they do to finally make them come? And most importantly: Are they as fucked-up as I am?

But it's over in a matter of seconds. They're out the outer door and back in the real world, You're inside the inner door. Inside the sanctuary, where you open.

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