In the corner of the room, her black and white spotted dachshund was sound asleep. Bego had just gone round to take her for a walk, after all the turmoil that befell Adriana. Just hours before, the female programmer had gone missing. This did not mean that life could not go on, but it certainly went a little slower. Patricia was watching a beauty vlog on YouTube and the psychologist had ignored her dog since. Nevertheless, as is befitting to animals, they knew when to make themselves small and let their bosses carry on with important matters.
The psychologist walked through her apartment at the Passeig del Born. She rather liked it, because it was spacious, colorful and provided lots of shadow. The location wasn’t exactly near the city’s square, but it was directly behind an apothecary, in a kind of back alley, a part of town known as La Llotja. This part seemed quite old and perhaps backward, but she appreciated the traditional buildings, the narrow passageways and the odd supermarket that belonged more to the previous than the current Century.
While she was tidying up, she saw a piece of paper with some code on it. Adriana must have left this note behind, perhaps she wanted to explain this to either Bego or Patricia. Even though the code was very short, she needed to look at it more than once to let it sink in. She did not really understand it and decided to run the code on her computer, to see what it looked like when run.
Upon compiling the code, the machine began to make a loud noise, fans were whirring up and the hard disk was spinning. Shortly afterwards, the result came and it was not what the psychologist had hoped: an error was thrown. Apparently, the Java virtual machine had ran out of memory, something which happened more than expected. On an average machine, Java was not configured to use all available resources, as not to cause a lock-down if bad code were entered. Still, Bego wondered if her computer had more resources, the result would be different.
While her dog was heavily breathing but sound asleep, Patricia was in a bad mood about a certain vlog. It said that people of her complexion had a tendency to wear bright colors, which was not bad, but stereotypical. To be reduced to a stereotype was downright criminal, Begonia conceded, thinking that she shared this view all the same. Maybe that was her problem, she always got stuck in her own view and problems, never thinking from anyone else’s perspective. It was like her own mind had suffered an ‘overflow’, only focusing on herself and never realizing there were others, too.
Bego remembered how earlier that year, she had welcomed Adriana to therapy. Talking to Adriana felt like she was accessing a private method, a piece of code that was not visible to to the outside world. Everything her client said scratched only the surface, what was happening under water, remained opaque. Like any good therapist, she could only guess at what was the driving force behind the patient. Was it really true that her doings did not correspond with her thinking? Was she hiding particular thought processes from her professional view?
It all began with a silk dress and a party to which Adriana was invited. As a programmer, she did not enjoy popularity, because people did not understand her wanderings into the world of code. It was safe to say that she did not know any people at all. The programmer handled the issues code was bringing into her life, but she had serious difficulty with any human interaction. She said to Bego that she felt like the world seemed friendly, but held back its secrets from her.
The therapist knew that she was describing herself. Adriana had never been the most social of persons, but had tried to blend in. To this effect, she had insisted on wearing blue contact lenses. It corresponded with her mood, she’d explain. But to the therapist, these lenses seemed artificial and only further distanced her from the organic world, sequestering her in the confines of the synthetic.
The silk dress and her blue lenses did attract attention at the party, but the enormity of all the people that approached her, scared her off just as easily. What did she lack or what did she have that made others shy away from her? Begonia knew the answer, but was reluctant to dive into this territory, because she did not like to cast herself as an outsider. Just like Adriana, she sat behind a screen, only difference being that there were patients sitting in front of her. Oftentimes, she did not care to pay attention to her clients, approaching the problem from the comfort of the notes she had scribbled down. Usually, these notes were less harsh than the words uttered by those sitting in front of her. She could not handle the pain these people were in and also did not know what to do about it. Diversion, that was one technique, she conceded behind the blue light of her laptop. Why didn’t the words on her screen give answers?
‘What do you think I should do?’ Adriana asked, rubbing in her eyes which looked like they had endured too much crying. Even though her eyes were hollow, Bego saw the light in them. There was something about Adriana that showed determination. She may come across as cold and evaluating, the truth was that there was more to her than a casual observer might infer.