I am to take the fourteen-year-old to see a psychiatrist.
“Why do you need to see a psychiatrist?” I ask her, as we leave.
“Apparently because I’m disorganised… and have a bad attention span.”
“It really is bullshit.”
We trudge up the hill. She has been learning about communism at school. She is opposed to it because she believes humans are intrinsically selfish and that such a societal model suppresses this pure human impulse. I say I think we are intrinsically cooperative and that competitiveness and individualism is fostered by skewed cultural values. She calls me naïve. I call her fourteen.
We arrive at what looks like an ordinary house. A little block of anonymity, a sorry symbol of the stigma attached to mental illness. Imagine a discreet and unmarked A&E unit.
“Do you want me to come in with you?” I ask her.
“No”, she says.
The door closes and I turn away. I have descended a couple of metres down the hill, when I hear her voice again:
“The appointment’s at half-six, not half-five.”
“I’m bored. Can we get a milkshake?”
The Male Nanny.