Kerry on the couch

We now join U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lying on the couch in his therapist’s office:

Therapist: “When did you get back from Jerusalem?”

Kerry: “Hmm, I’m not sure. I ran out of Ambien on the trip so I’m a little sleep-deprived right now. But I think it was this morning.”

Therapist: “You take Ambien?”

Kerry: “You kidding? How else could I survive all these trips I’m making to Israel? This was my fifth one there since March. I think I beat Kissinger’s record from 1973.”

Therapist: “Why do you keep going there?”

Kerry: “Have you been talking to my wife? She’s always asking me that. I keep going to Israel because I want to go down in history. Not go down in history, but go down in history.”

Therapist: “What do you mean?”

Kerry: “Ever since I took this job, all the smart people have been telling me to stay away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That it’s a snake pit — an impossible mission. That the Middle East is burning and there are other places that need my attention a lot more.”

Therapist: “Are they right?”

Kerry: “Maybe, but I don’t really care. I want to do what all my predecessors failed to do.”

Therapist: “Tell me about that.”

Kerry: “I want to do great things. I want to be better than everyone else. Like we’ve talked about before, I was never popular with the girls in high school. I was kind of awkward and gawky. So I compensated by doing a lot of things.”

Therapist: “Like what?”

Kerry: “You know, I would just work harder than everyone else. Chess club. Tennis. Debating club. Fencing. Wrestling. No challenge was too big for me. That’s the way it’s been my whole life — Vietnam, the Senate, the White House.”

Therapist: “But you lost the White House.”

Kerry: “Please don’t remind me.”

Therapist: “That’s what I’m here for.  How did it make you feel?”

Kerry: “You sure you want to get into this?”

Therapist: “Of course, it’s important. This is how we’ll get some real work done.”

Kerry: “Well, the loss killed me. I came this close to the top of the mountain. This close to being numero uno in the world. And I lost to a cowboy — to the big man on campus. It brought me back to my high school days … when I had to claw my way to compete with the cool guys.”

Therapist: “Tell me more about that.”

Kerry: “I crashed. I felt as if everything I had accomplished up until then was for naught. As if I’d been transported right back to high school, to being that awkward and gawky kid trying desperately to be popular.”

Therapist: “How did you deal with it?”

Kerry: “I put on an act. I pretended I was OK, even with my wife and kids. But inside, I was dying.”

Therapist: “How long did it last?”

Kerry: “Right up until I was chosen to be secretary of state earlier this year. That’s when I started getting out of my funk. Now I can get back that mountain I lost.”

Therapist: “What do you mean?”

Kerry: “Look, even though I lost the White House, I have a chance now to win the Nobel Peace Prize. There’s nothing cooler in the world. Nothing more popular! I will work harder than ever to win it.”

Therapist: “But what if you don’t?”

Kerry: “Failure is not an option.”

Therapist: “John, I don’t want to see you crash again. You need to feel OK inside so that the external losses won’t devastate you.”

Kerry: “The only way I will feel OK inside is if I win. And I know I can do it. I just know it. People are telling me that I’m banging my head against a wall — that despite all these trips and meetings, neither side is budging an inch. But I will wear them down, you’ll see.”

Therapist: “Why do you think you can succeed?”

Kerry: “Here’s something you don’t know, doc. In international diplomacy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the holy grail. It doesn’t matter that thousands of people are being murdered all around there. All the eyes of the world are on the Jews and the Palestinians.”

Therapist: “So, what will you do?”

Kerry: “Look, the world is so obsessed with this conflict that they gave that terrorist Arafat a Nobel prize just for taking meetings! Now, if I can only get Bibi and Abbas in the same room, I really think I have a shot at the big prize. I’m only slightly exaggerating.”

Therapist: “Seriously? But what if you fail even at that?”

Kerry: “I’ll do what I always do — I’ll work even harder! I told you: Failure is not an option.”

Therapist: “OK, John. I’ll see you at our next session. Get some rest.”