The upside of a down economy is increased time for personal improvement. (Yes, this could be reading An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis on Kindle. But, bah, humbug, it's summer!) My extra hour was spent skimming celebrities' challenges with substances in a nameless magazine, while an aesthetician rendered services to me, which are confidential. We chatted while she worked, a mature woman, who had weathered a few of life's calamities. "Are your patients talking about 2012?," she asked. "No," I replied, not mentioning that I was too busy with the challenges of '09 to contemplate any date later than an August vacation to a location where a psychoanalytic conference wouldnot be taking place. "I haven't heard of 2012, and if my patients mentioned it, I couldn't tell you," I smiled.

She explained that 2012 is the end of the Mayan calendar, and it's rumored the world will come to a pestilent, global warmed, Al Qaida-ish, faminous, nuclear, brimstone-esque, _______________(insert global terror of your choice ) end. I though of Winnicott's idea that what one fears has already happened. An online search produced a plethora of web sites, including survive2012. Some people have a fantasy of fused mother-infant bliss expressed in the belief that 2012 will herald a spiritual awakening. Others project their terrible anxieties of the pre-Oeidipal mother into a fear of geomagnetic reversal, asteroid strike, or reverse time travel. (Oy vey, do we have to go through the negative transference again?) The threat of alien invasion was mentioned (that darn father, busting up good times with Mother Earth) as well as a calamity called "the rise of the machines." The latter is here. We may be wireless, but we've got umbilical cords to our devices.

My word count for this space is shot. I'll close with the last section from my draft. It's about wanting to taste a $295 bottle of Cab a vintner recently described. It's fitting that this diatribe about the terrors of 2012 ends with a fantasy about the terroirs of an escapist elixir. The vintner noted that some red wines are casked for more than 24 months. A wine may be set for release as far ahead as 2012. "We'll open it and smell it along the timeline," he explained. "And we'll say,wow, that wine is really showing its stuff." Like when we notice, one day in treatment, our patient really is changing.

Cleopatra Victoria, MFT