"Good?" I asked him.
"Symptom free," he said.
"For how long?" I asked.
"Thirty days," he said. "Or more."
I wanted to remind him that I was a writer, that I counted myself lucky to feel good from the beginning of a sentence to the full stop. I wanted to ask him if he had ever heard of betrayal, of disappointment, of mortality.
But after having spent nearly two hours co-operating with him, helping him to transmute my messy words into precise data – the formulaic questions of the Hamilton Depression Rating scale that had determined that my complaints added up to "major depression" – I somehow didn't feel free to remind him that we hadn't really agreed that I had symptoms. I'd submitted to his alchemy. I couldn't just turn myself back into lead.