them believe he took them seriously.He didn’t know what had made him that way. His mother, father, and two sisterswere all laconic, and while they loved him and tolerated him, they had no insight to offer on the subject either.He made a thirtieth birthday resolution to do something about it, and decided to trytherapy. But when he went, the therapist kept asking him, “What would happen if youstayed quiet? What are you afraid would happen?” He tried to explain that he wasn’tafraid of anything, sitting in silence just made him itchy. The therapist said that theremust be
fear lurking behind that itch, and they spent six months trying to uncover it.Finally the therapist declared he didn’t believe there were making any progress: all thehandsome man did in their sessions was babble. He still believed the handsome man wasusing his logorrhea to mask some other, deeper problem, but unless the handsome manwas willing to dig into what that might be and do much more serious work thanheretofore, he thought they were wasting each other’s time.Since the handsome man thought the therapist’s premise was all wrong—hislogorrhea, as the therapist called it, was itself the problem, not a mask for something else —he declined to do the much more serious work and left therapy.He went then to a psychiatrist, who said he supposed his compulsion could be an oddform of anxiety disorder and tried a few anxiolytics on him, one after another. Theydidn’t work.