In a high-rise somewhere far removed from the matrix of psychosocial disarray, a man reclines on a chaise longue. The door locks behind him with a soft, reassuring click and an immaculately dressed woman in leather, platform heels enters the room. He exhales pointedly as if he had been holding his breath for a long while.

The woman speaks: “We have created an environment in which the conditions are prime for the spiritual healing that you seek.”

The man feels as if he is being massaged by her voice. And for a moment, he is submerged in water, floating, untethered.

“The cure is simpler than you think. It lies completely within your control.”

A brushstroke across his cheek. His mother’s tears. The exasperation of a lifetime.

“I want you to feel safe and secure. I want you to love again.”

‘Sometimes, it is too much to bear!’ He cries out. I don’t know where I should go, what I should do. My thoughts follow me everywhere.

“Some torments are inescapable. You must bear the weight. You must learn to cope.”

CARES “Coping Strategies” is out now via Toronto label & Options.