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Knitting Fiction

Chapter 14: Pete, Lost in Lace

Published on: March 16, 2023

Oh geez, I should not have told my dream, Pete thinks. Stop! Dreams are like thoughts. They do not cause anything. Dreams do not bend spoons.

     “You have had a powerful dream, Pete,” Dr. Waldt says. “If the dream is a message from your subconscious to yourself, what do you think the message is saying?”

     “I think I’m terrified of losing Cindy. And not being able to have a baby. I just feel sick about the possibility of losing everything,” Pete says.

     Cindy rearranges herself, sitting crosslegged and sideways on the couch so that she fully faces Pete. She takes his hand in both of hers, “I am not going anywhere Pete. I’m staying right here. We will figure this out.”

     The three of them sit quietly for a few minutes until De. Waldt speaks, “Pete, probably you and I will want to talk more about your dream later. Meanwhile, I have another idea. I wonder if there is a way for us to take some pressure off the two of you. Just take a few steps back from your predicament for a bit. What do you think?” 

"Sometimes a person needs to backup before going forward," Pete says. "I read that somewhere. I can't remember where." He takes his right hand off his thigh and cradles his forehead. "I can't think where now. It will come to me later. Yes, let's back up and see if that helps."

     “We have talked about artificial insemination as a way to take pressure off,” Cindy says. “We could use Pete’s sperm.”

    “I already said, that is a last resort for me.” Pete removes his hand from Cindy’s. “I’m not ready for that. Let’s just try this new perspective of Dr. Waldt’s first.” 

     “Your therapist, Melissa has agreed to be available for consultation for this session,” Dr Waldt says. "How about if we connect with her via Zoom, bring her into the room, and we all put our heads together to see if we can come up with some ideas to take the pressure off the two of you?” Both Pete and Cindy nod.

    “I see you are both agreeable,” Dr. Waldt says as he picks up his laptop. “I’ll just message Melissa, and open up the Zoom link. Let’s arrange ourselves so that we can see and hear Melissa and she can see and hear all of us.” With that Dr. Waldt places the laptop on his side table so that it faces the couch. He adjusts the camera, and pulls his chair to align with the couch. “Melissa, can you hear okay and see all of us?” he asks. 

     “Yes. Hi to the two of you. Hi Cindy. Hi Pete.” Pete and Cindy wave back at her. 

     “Let me fill you in, Melissa.” Dr. Waldt turns briefly toward Pete and Cindy, “please feel free to add or comment on my summary.” They nod and he continues. “Melissa, we have taken a brief look at the progress they have made in their couples counseling with you. We also discussed their current conundrum of wanting to change the way they have sex so that they can get pregnant. They both seem to have considerable guilt and pressure wrapped up in this problem. I worry this stress is getting in the way more than it is helping.” He turns toward Pete and Cindy again, “Does that sound about right to you two?” They nod. Dr. Waldt turns back to Melissa and continues, “If that makes sense to you Melissa, can you think of any ways we might turn down the heat for these two for awhile.” 

     “Yes,” Melissa says, “I also have been thinking about this. In fact we have already been discussing the option of sexual abstinence. I wanted us to wait until after they met with you to decide.”

     “Melissa would you go over the main points to make sure we are all on the same page?” Dr Waldt asks. 

     “Basically the couple agrees to call a moratorium on sex for a specified length of time. They can, of course, engage in other intimate activities. In fact they ought to spend time together doing things they enjoy—but just not sex.”

     Dr. Waldt says, “I can see how taking sex off the table for awhile would decrease stress for them. Sorry, bad turn of phrase.” Everyone chuckles. He turns toward Pete and Cindy, “Would you guys be able to sign on to that plan?” 

     “How long are we talking about?” Pete asks.

     “Melissa answers. “The three of us have an appointment in two weeks. How about we make a contract for two weeks. No sex for two weeks. Then we can discuss how it went, and whether or not we want renew the contract.”

     “Two weeks makes sense to me. You are not in danger of becoming monks in two weeks, Dr. Waldt says. Plus that will give Pete and I a chance to come up with a treatment plan.”

     “I can do two weeks. Can you?” Pete asks Cindy.

     “Yes, as long as we get to spend quality time together.”

     Melissa says, “Spending intimate time together is an important part of this approach. We talked about this the last time we met.” Here Melissa stops talking briefly and waves her hand. “Dr. Waldt, just to fill you in, although Cindy and Pete have been spending time together, they tend to choose activities one or the other already enjoys.”

     “I think I understand,” Dr. Waldt says. “One of them has an interest and then the other joins in on that activity—kind of like giving a gift.”

     “Yes,” Melissa says, “exactly. So when we met last, I asked them to come up with some activities they both enjoy and then make a plan to engage in those activities together.” Here she stops and gives another little wave before proceeding. “I’m wondering. Did the two of you come up with anything?”

      “Yes we did, Pete says.

     “Pete and I came up with a great plan for this upcoming weekend. I am so looking forward to it.”

     Pete picks up the thread, “We start out on Saturday morning by driving to Raven River. We have coffee and quiche at Jazzed. It’s a great coffee shop. I go there just to knit sometimes. Cindy loves looking at whatever is their latest art exposition. And I will probably bring some of my geek books and trade them in for new geek books from their free book shelf.”

     “Then we will go to Fit Alaska,” Cindy says. “I’ll hit their Zumba class while Pete goes for a swim.”

     “At noon The Entangled Skein opens. We’ll explore yarn. They have a great sitting area and we can sit and knit with whoever shows up.” Pete turns toward Cindy, “Plus you want to figure out if there is a class or teacher that can help you work in the round, right? Cindy has been knitting scarves and wants to progress to hats.”

     “I did not know that you both knit,” Melissa says. “I’m impressed with your plan.”

     Cindy says, “I learned just last year. I got jealous watching Pete knit, so took a couple of classes. The colors and textures of yarn are amazing. I’m just a beginner. Pete is a pro. He learned to knit as a child. His grandmother taught him.”

     “Learning to knit with grandma are some of my favorite memories. I learned a lot more than knitting from her,” Pete says. “I wish she was still here. I miss her. Besides she could help me figure out where I am in my lacework. The math just is not working out. You'd think someone who eats diophantine equations for breakfast could get his counts right. But I'm off. Speaking of which, I did not think to look at The Entangled Skein’s classes. Can I take a minute to look now?” Dr. Waldt nods and Pete picks up his phone and begins thumbing. “They have one that seems like more of a general class. It goes for about six weeks. Actually, it might work for both of us.” Pete hands his phone over to Cindy.

     “Yes, let’s check it out. I wonder if maybe I can learn to work in the round in this class? You might think that Mr. Count here could teach me."

Pete chimes in, "One thing we know for sure is that I am a terrible teacher."

"Well maybe not for everyone. But for me. That's for sure." The couple laughs at their shared joke. "It says right here she teaches how to use a lifeline for lacework.” She hands Pete’s phone back to him.

     “I bet she will be able to help me find where I am. I messed up and lost my way. I can’t figure out where I am in the lace.” He glances at the phone before putting it way. “The class is named ‘Mistakes and How to Fix Them.’”         

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