I parked my ‘47 Ford Elephant near a rose bed decorating the entrance to a winding, white marble staircase before a dark, double door. The Ford backfired, dropped a small offering on the bed, to cover the cost of parking, and the roses, whilst introducing a funky tone to the garden.

The doors hung ajar before me, inviting, challenging; threatening; I crept forward, alert for any sign of movement, the tension parching my throat; I thought of the stash, but there is no time, this is it; no more procrastination, it’s confrontation. On the front of the Elephant was a long trunk, containing a supply of liquid refreshment; it could also be used for long distance calls.

With due care and attention I gingerly tested the large, teak panelled doors that seductively questioned my resolve. They correspondingly gingerly tested my convictions.  Ever so delicately they were pushed, slinking into the dark before me, like a spiteful cur. I stepped through, my heart pumping faster, the adrenalin coursing through my veins, preparation for fight or flight.

     It was dark; I opened my eyes, and there, lying on the floor, horizontal before me, was a rug. It was Indian, to go with the Elephant, and I knew there had to be more to it than that that first met the I.

“Aye, aye” I replied, before realizing I was alone, in the deep pitch of night, with limited internal light.

A corridor beckoned, weaving, leading to inner depths of the mansion, in the stifled light of a passing storm and a box of Federal matches, I saw walls draped with paintings of different shaped and sized frames, some large, some miniatures.

The curtains were drawn, but only on the windows. Dull light half covered, immersed the antiquated furniture and lay out of the room, in mustiness and dust, thickly gracing everything, suggesting many moons betwixt the regular attendance of either the maid or any caring, dust repulsed hand.

  Somewhere, deep within the outer reaches of my socks, were my toes which were put there before leaving home, in case I misplaced them. They were hardly moving, but I knew they were there by the length of my feet.

Thankful of my diligence I was able to tiptoe forward, like a wild banana adjusting to a new bunch. Carefully examining the surrounds I moved deeper into the labyrinth of time and space, ready for anything. The tension stretched, like wet dough, across a half moon, etched by night against the floor

An idea leapt into my head, a desperate escapee from a marauding band of Thought Police. Plunging deep into the psyche, seeking refuge, a place to hide; I dragged it back out, not knowing if it was one of mine and put it in the IN TRAY, so, when I get in, I could look at it. It’s very difficult to look at things in the IN TRAY if one is not in, you weren’t in so I had to look instead.

 All it was an idea, I turned it over a few times, like a favourite record, only to get a reverse rendition of the other side.

Clinging to the wall I found a soft light switch, I clicked it down, soft light crept through the room, destroying all but impenetrable darkness. I looked around the room, searching for some clue as to my location; quickly I determined I was inside.

By this time the light I’d turned on was wrecked, but that’s another story, for one of the ADULT ONLY magazines, like Playboy, Mother’s Day, the Bulletin or Financial Review

Something dirty old women read in Hair Dressing Salons. Has anyone ever seen any women come out of those places with their hair in a dress? They’re getting ripped off

Hey, like the double entendre?

I examined the room, straining in the dull lighting, to detect any sign of movement, any trace of occupation. I closed my eyes, to adjust to the lack of light, but couldn’t see any better, though, when re-opened, there was that sneaking intuition, suspicion of rapid movement escaping my watchful orbs.

It looked just like a room, only it was either bigger or smaller than other rooms I’d seen, depending on how one looked at it.

Outside the storm was getting more in-tents; easier to get into tents than the white walled room where you are trapped. 

“Many find the white walls go well with their matching, long sleeved white coats.” Nurse O’Grinner declared. Nurse O’Grinner is very helpful; she always likes to help people get on with their medication and relevant side effects with the least amount of stress, suffering and confusion. We all liked Nurse O’Grinner, even when she lost the plot.

She wore a Clockwork Orange Suit, of pristine white; an Alex inspired smile, hiding a brutal mentality. Built like Venus, and no less hard, nurse O’Grinner stood as a Greek or Roman goddess of terror

It’s rumoured she fell off the chastity path of mindless commitment to serving the ill after a torrid, sordid affair with a psychiatrist who thought he was sane; though no one dared say such for fear of an evening overdose or suffering a chronic, fatal pillow over face attack, during Nurse O’Grinner’s night time vigils

 Surreptitiously (that means without being ‘UN-COOL’) I oozed over polished wooden floor; a reflection of myself grinned back in a bewildered manner This was a relief, especially in the semi-darkness, I hadn’t been expecting anybody else and quickly identified myself with the secret sign

 In the distance could be heard the sound of distant, rolling waves.

 ‘What am I doing in a shell?’

The door crashed open; I all but passed out with fright.

 “What are you doing here?” a powerful voice thundered from the black hole in the wall

  “I’m looking for my mobile ‘phone.” I replied or lied quickly.

  “Oh, that’s O.K. At first I thought you were some sort of a weirdo who’s snuck in to get out of the rain“ the voice continued, though with a less threatening tone.

 “Is it raining already? Sorry, I must be off. Have to wind up the windows in my Elephant, you know. Could you call me if you find my mobile ‘phone?” I asked, as I moved quickly toward the hole in the wall through which I’d entered

 “Not so fast, Neddy” said the voice protruding from the dark orifice

 “How did you know my name’s Neddy?” I replied

“Is your name Neddy?” asked the voice

“No, but I won’t argue about it, I’m flexible when it comes to names”

“That’s good,” said the voice

“Well. Now that we know my name, maybe I could have your’s?”

“Why, do you collect names?” questioned the voice

“Not really, I just like to know who I’m talking to when I’m talking to myself. It gets very confusing, not knowing who I am or where my mobile ‘phone is, because I can’t ring myself up to see if I’m in or out, or who’s answering the ‘phone.”

“That makes sense” said the voice.

“That’s great. Is there anything else before I go?”

 “No, just leave your card so I can get back to you if I don’t see you again” said the voice.      

    I gave the Voice my mobile number and exited through a copy of “The Black Hole” by Celestion Kuryakin, fading like a song to which a coda could not be found.

 Rumour has it that Dr. Freudrickson is having an affair with Nurse O’Grinner, though such talk is not allowed during working hours, as the THOUGHT POLICE are everywhere, even in here, as far as we know, so be careful. 

The Doktor had written a little ditty, that someone printed and put on the dining room wall. He never admitted he wrote it and Nurse O’Brien swore she would kill the author when exposed. Dr. Freudrickson was really keen to expose himself, but not necessarily in that context.

“Nurse O’Brien is really cute,

A buxom wench, who carries a wrench,

In her white flack jacket and hobnailed boots

To tighten up nuts or her wrath to rent

With a smile t’would make a crocodile drool

With her pills and shots for those who think

She lies in wait by the hospital pool

With an overdose for whomsoever she‘ll choose.”

 Some of the residents believe Nurse O’Grinner needs a lot of help, so they smile at her and try to give her a dose of strychnine or the clap, but she is, it appears, immune to both.

The clients all hoped she and Dr Freudrickson would elope but knew Nurse O’Grinner’s dedication to unbridled control and mayhem would never allow her to depart her ivory tower of POWER

 How long have you been having these sorts of dreams?”  Doctor Freudrickson Jr. asked, “Here, have another pill”

 “They’ve only started since you began treating me. No thanks doc., I’ve just had a vasectomy”

“What’s that got to do with the pills?”

 “You’d better ask my psychiatrist about that”

“What pills are you taking?”

[1]“I take three ZEROPAX, two TRIMORTAZONE, four ZONKYABRIAN and 2 and a half KILLSEMALL”

“Do you believe they are helping you?”

“Depends who’s taking them.”

“What are you taking them for?”

“The ZEROPAX are to prevent me sleeping, which is reverse sedation; the TRIMORTAZONE change the voices I hear into assorted ring tones; the ZONKYABRAINS are for INVERTED PSYCHOTHESIS, the KILLSEMALL are suicidal thoughts stimulators.”

“Did you ever think everybody hates you?”

“Not everybody. Only my father, mother, sister, all my relatives and everyone else I know.” I replied.

“That’s good to know. It means there’s still lots of people out there who don’t hate you, doesn’t it?” he queried.

”I guess you’re right, I’d never thought of it from that angle, thanks doc. I feel better already.”

“Have another pill.”

“Which colour this time?” I asked

“Doesn’t matter, you pick, they’re all the same, they only look different.”

“Now, that makes sense” I observed.

“Hey doc, I just had a great idea for us to make lots of money.”

“Now that interests me.”

“What about we go into business making those straight jackets.”

“Why compete with the corporations?” asked the doctor.

“Well, everyone is on about cost cutting, reducing staff numbers, improving the bottom line, though, one must admit, Nurse O’Grinner has a great bottom line, I came up with a fantastic idea to design and make ‘DO IT YOURSELF STRAIGHT JACKETS’

With these, clients could put the long sleeved white coats on themselves, when they feel an attack coming on and take them off later. It would improve Workplace Health and Safety standards, no nurses would need take risks trying to restrain a raving psychotic, and think of the staff reductions this could produce.”

“I think we’ll have to work on that one a bit, but it sounds viable, how do you intend to get the clients to tie themselves in to the coats?” the doctor replied.

“Velcrose, Variable veracity Velcorse. Stick yourself up Velcrose. It’s great, flexible, waterproof and user friendly.”

“It could be useful for insurance fraud too. Business executives could stick themselves up for their annual pay packets and claim it on insurance as well as tax.”

Dr. Freudrickson is a man of indeterminate taste, especially when it came to clothing. He tried everything together. Oft he looks like a passing rainbow or a deserted tropical island, though there is no evidence to suggest he didn’t know what he is doing. 

He lives in an expensive mansion onThirty-fourth Street, near the corner and opposite a vast expanse of natural calamities. His mother left him this house in her will, though not of her own choice. He became a psychiatrist to avoid national service and the dole queue.

“My previous girlfriend was very musical.” I told the doctor, “She was a chorus girl.”

“That’s a tough way to earn a quid, how did she cope?”

“It was good for her. She was secure. Always knew to come in after the second or third verse, unless it was a ballad, or there was a bridge. Her life was arranged.”

“Have another pill.”

“No thanks, Doc, I’m told they’re habit forming, and I’m not planning to become a monk.”

“You don’t mind if I have one, do you?”

“What colour are you having?”

“Oh, it doesn’t matter; they’re all the same, they only look different.”

“It is getting easier and easier to see that the WHO, WHY, WHERE, HOW and WHEN of the situation is getting ever more elaborate. This interjection only making it harder for either you or myself to maintain the complexity of our conversation, but you can’t trick me with those trick questions.” he whinged

“There is serious need for you to get help.”

“That’s why you referred me to you.“ I replied

“Did you ever discover who it was that referred you to me?”

“Yes”

“Would you tell me, please, it’s very important that I know what sort of people are referring people to me as I’m not sure if they can be trusted.   

        There are all sorts of people out there, who bring in an incalculable number  of psychoses, psychotic interpretations and other sorts of stimulating and thought provoking dreams. This is having a debilitating effect on my general state of health.”

“I’ll tell you if you’ll tell me why I’m here. This is the three hundred and tenth time you’ve wanted to see me; my Medicare card is getting thinner and thinner with each visit, and I don’t know that I’ve seen any progress. ”

“Maybe it was your mother?”

“Hey, I’m not into any of that Freudian stuff, I’m a clean living bloke.”

“Maybe it was my mother.”

“Look doc., this needs end, quickly and painlessly, for both of us. You could simply certify me. Then I’m out of your space, you can eat all the pills yourself and I’ll leave you a referral note to a good psychiatrist.”

“Is there any such thing? I thought we were only in it for the money.”

 “There has to be a resolution to this inane consultation, “ I continued, or I think it was I but it could have been you; “there has to be an anti-climax and a climax, (without being Freudian) or I’ll never pass the medical for the A.C.J.”

  “Oh, so that’s what it’s about. You’re simply looking for an easy way out of this plotless nonsense and you expect me to bear responsibility for it all?” he rejoined indignantly.

The rug was still lying, vertical, against the floor. I knew there could be no way to escape the moment, but I have to try. To flee, flee from the mind-chilling grip of the voice’s invitation to dinner. I couldn’t see any option but to run for it.

“How do you have your herbal tea?” It asked from the darkness of it’s labyrynthical void.

“Black and white, thanks” I studiously replied.

“One lump or two?”

“Don’t hit me I bleed easily.”

Then I ran, the adrenalin stoking the fires of my flight, in desperation, through the hole in the wall, leaping ecstatically into the arms of the men, with the white coats, waiting for me; I fell, grateful, into tender arms and all was peace.

“Do you want to make an appointment for next week?”

“No doc. Thanks anyway, I understand. For years I’ve had psychiatrists asking me to come and talk with them. They need help and I try to support them the best I can. To help them see themselves in a different light.” I said

“Oh, how do you do that?” he asked

“I just turn it on”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] ZEROPAX  = NO PEACE: LATIN ‘PAX’ PEACE

  TRIMORTAZONE = THREE DEATHS LATIN ‘MORT’ = DEATH

  ZONKYABRAIN = MENTAL SUPPRESANT

  KILLSEM ALL = WHAT THEY DO TO US ALL

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