New York Stories: Autre Ne Veut shares a New York memory

Guest blogger Arthur Ashin, a.k.a. Autre Ne Veut, tells us about a moment in psychoanalysis that reminded of Woody Allen’s venerable New York City tradition.

Autre Ne Veut

Autre Ne Veut Photograph: Jody Rogac

Welcome to "New York Stories," in which some of our favorite New Yorkers tell a story—funny, heartwarming, sad, whatever—about this great city. This week, Arthur Ashin, a.k.a. Autre Ne Veut, recounts a head-scratching therapy session.

I suppose I’ll tell a story about my analyst, because that’s as much of a New York thing in the [Woody] Allen tradition as you’ll get, right?

I had been seeing this guy for the better part of a year at this point, multiple times a week. I’d signed up—for better or for worse—to do some serious, intensive psychoanalysis. And my analyst had astutely recognized the distance that I often take from myself, sort of watching my life play out from a close third-person perspective. Perhaps unsurprisingly this makes it difficult to capture that carpe diem (YOLO) approach to living.

I was mired in grad-school work and other personal concerns, but I was really hoping to experience life more richly. So in between sessions I had made a conscious effort to be more present—to really be where I was when I was there and to simply experience it. So I’m recalling the story of one such moment to my analyst:

“Earlier today I was walking past the small park near my apartment, and kind of realized for the first time that spring was coming. It was a bit of a revelation, but instead of falling into some early childhood memory, I just looked and tried to take it all in. I noticed that fresh green of young foliage and beds of tulips—”

“Wait, tulips?” He interjected. “Like, two lips?”

I thought that was kinda funny. Really? “Two lips?”

So we just sat there for another two minutes until the session was over, and I tried to not broach the subject again.

Autre Ne Veut is the project of Greenpoint's Arthur Ashin, who has a master's in psychology. He plays Rumsey Playfield at Central Park this Saturday, August 17 with Twin Shadow. His latest album, Anxiety, is out now on Software / Mexican Summer.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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