During the morning session, we learned that a serious suicide candidate opts for a firearm over cough syrup. We also learned that this two-day seminar had official standing and could provide a value-added bonus to our cv.
Over lunch with the twenty-two other participants and two group leaders, the psychiatrist informed us the young people who protested against a recent deforestation in this region were psychotic. (Proof: two of them were admitted to his service in Albi). Did his diagnosis extend to all other participants and their supporters too, I asked (politely, you understand). No, of course not, he said, and while I dug into my steak frites, he regaled us with the tale of the man who ate his own thigh.
So I turned my attention to the gendarme – a mountainous presence I spent a lot of time observing on the sly during the morning session. Great ambivalence in my attitude: a man who must deal with successful suicides in the middle of the night – including those of colleagues who didn’t opt for cough syrup – has my immediate sympathy, as a matter of course. The same man also considers environmentalists useless and dangerous drifters. When he expressed his opinions about Roms, I chewed my steak with great deliberation. I’m excitable on such issues. Didn’t feel like ending my day in the closed section of the psychiatric ward or at the gendarmerie.
Said gendarme spent a lot of time staring at and toying with his wedding band during the part of the afternoon session dealing with grief. The Power Point presentation on evaluation of Risk, Urgency and Dangerousness didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know already but it’s nice to have confirmation on matters involving life and death.
Excited at the prospect of Day 2? Not. I’d rather spend the time with a fictional character others have compared to Peter Pan. But I’ll get an even better fix on one or several of his opponents in the Law and Order contingent. Plus, over lunch, I may learn more about this town’s main employer for females: the agency providing home helpers for the sick, the failed suicides and the distraught mothers whose husbands get weekend passes from jail so as to get another forced pregnancy going at home.
(I click on the Music category because, for the past two days, the same song has been playing over and over in my head: composed by the musical group Bratsh, titled La valse de l’aigle, it tells the tale of a Russian shaman appealing to an eagle for the gift of inner sight. Sure, says the eagle but you’ll have to accept the blinding of your outer sight first. Or something to that effect. The song is in Russian and the melody, addictive. For me, no matter the meaning, a song combining Russian + lovely melody can turn into a fixation.)