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You’re Not Bipolar If You’re Never Up!

Reptiles, garden hoses, blonds and tee-hees are the focus of a therapy session.

“Three tee-hees do not constitute a manic episode! You are not bipolar,” Dr. Childers repeated. “You are depressed.” He seemed a bit irritated.

“But they were three consecutive tee-hees!” I protested. “Not three tee-hees interspersed throughout the day like before!”

“That doesn’t matter,” Dr. Childers retorted. “But since this tee-hee episode does seem to be significant to you, we should explore it.”

“This three consecutive tee-hee episode!” I interjected.

 “O.K.” Dr. Childers said. “Tell me about the consecutive tee-hees and their aftermath. How did they come about?”

“From a practical joke,” I explained. “When my neighbor went to get his mail, there was a live snake in his mailbox! His roommate had put it there. When I saw his reaction it made me tee-hee!”

I smiled momentarily at the recollection, but then my shoulders drooped.

“And?” Dr. Childers asked.

“And then I empathized with the snake,” I explained. “I started thinking about how horrible it would be to be locked up in a mailbox and it depressed me.”

“That’s consistent with you’re your past behavior,” Dr. Childers observed. “You often dream of being a snake or other type of reptile. Or at least trying to be but getting rejected by the reptiles.”

“And I dreamt about snakes that night,” I admitted.

“Tell me about the dream,” Dr. Childers requested.

I leaned back in my chair and looked up at the ceiling. I was sitting across from Dr. Childers at his desk.

“Well, it was related to the mailbox. I decided I would organize all the snakes and have them protest inhumane treatment like being locked up and used for practical jokes! I figured that massive slither-in demonstrations could be quite effective!”

“Are you a snake in the dream?” Dr. Childers asked.

“No. I was human,” I explained. “But I went to a bar where I knew all the snakes hung out after work. There were serpents of all colors and sizes there. They were talking and dancing and playing pool. There was even a live band.”

“A band of snakes?” Dr. Childers asked.

“Yes,” I said. “And it’s not easy for a snake to play a guitar! Think about it!”

“Go on,” Dr. Childers said.

“Well,” I continued, “this one cute green girl garden snake was sitting at the bar drinking. She was really hot!”

“You, a human, were attracted to a hot garden snake?” Dr. Childers asked.

“You would have been too,” I explained. “She was really something!”

“But the situation had to be ambiguous,” Dr. Childers observed. “It’s not easy to tell the difference between a male and a female snake. How did you know it was a girl?”

“The lipstick and the blond wig she had on,” I explained. “Well, I guess she could have been a Tranny, but I spoke with her and it turned out that she was a girl.”

“You spoke with her?” the Doctor asked. “The snakes in your dream all spoke?”

“Yes,” I said. “But she didn’t speak back to me. I approached and offered to buy her a drink but she just hissed at me.”

“So you were rejected by a garden snake.” Dr. Childers asked. “How did that make you feel?”

“It was o.k.” I responded. “I knew that she was out of my league. And it was nowhere near as bad as that dream where a chubby Cobra just spit at me.”

Dr. Childers scribbled some notes in his notebook.

“Go on,” Dr. Childers said. “What happened next?”

“So I went to the middle of the bar, started clinking my glass, and asking for everyone’s attention. The room quieted down, and all the snakes stood up on their tails and turned to look at me. The room went almost completely silent.”

“How did that make you feel?” Dr. Childers asked.

“Confident!” I said. “I even yelled out, ‘Could you please stop that rattling around back there?’ And they did.”

“And then?” Dr. Childers asked.

“Then I looked at all of them and said, ‘Snakes and Snakesses. Yesterday I saw a snake placed in a mailbox as part of a practical joke. Things like this should never happen! It’s time to unite and stand up and not tolerate that kind of behavior! It’s time to come together and take a stand and let the world know that snakes have feelings and dreams and hopes and aspirations like other creatures! That they have to be treated with respect and compassion and dignity!’”

“And how did the snakes react?” Dr. Childers asked.

“Well,” I explained, “this one snake, I think he was from the South…”

“Because of his accent?” Dr. Childers inquired.

“No,” I said. “because of his name. They called him Boa.”

“Go, on,” Dr. Childers said.

“Well, Boa started asking me a lot of questions. Like, how big was the mailbox, what was the temperature inside and outside, did the snake look well fed, stuff like that.”

“And what did you tell him?” Dr. Childers asked.

“That the snake actually looked a bit plump. That outside was about ninety-five degrees, inside the hall where the mailbox is was around seventy degrees. And then Boa looked at me and said, ‘Cool!’”

“He thought what you were telling him was cool?” Dr. Childers asked.

 “No,” I explained, “he was just commenting on the temperature. I said, ‘What’s so cool about it?’ And he said, ’Seventy degrees is nice and cool. And being outside in the sun on a hot day could have killed that snake in the mailbox. We are cold blooded, you know. In fact, a nice, cool, dark mailbox would be a great place to relax and stay cool on a hot day after a good meal! I wouldn’t mind napping in a mailbox like that myself!’”

Dr. Childers saw the pained look on my face. “What happened then?” he asked.

 “Then all the other snakes started laughing,” I replied. “I looked over. The girl snake at the bar was laughing too. Boy, even laughing at me she was so hot!”

“How did you feel in the dream when Bo pointed out how ignorant you were in front of all the other snakes?” Dr. Childers asked.

“Not Bo. Boa,” I corrected.

“Sorry,” Dr. Childers said. “How did you feel when Boa pointed out your ignorance?”

“Just like I do when people point out how ignorant I am it in front of other people,” I said, “and when they hiss and spit at me. And then I woke up.”

“And?” Dr. Childers asked.

“And I got all aroused at the thought of kissing my garden hose.”

Dr. Childers sighed.

“Don’t you see the symbolism and meaning of your dream?” Dr. Childers asked.

“That we are all being victimized by the U.S. Postal Service which is run by a bunch of snakes?” I asked.

“No,” Dr. Childers said. “Think about it. It’s all part of your pattern. It’s a replay of your constant desire to belong and your fear of rejection. You, a human and therefore marginalized from the snake society that you both wish to save and be a part of, go to a bar to help them and thereby gain their acceptance. But instead you are embarrassed and made to look foolish by them. You are rejected not only on an intellectual level, but on a sexual level as well. What does all this tell you about yourself?”

“That I should hang out with Mongeese?” I asked. “Or is it Mongeeses?”

“No,” Dr. Childers said.

“That I should never stare at a girl’s rattles when I approach her in a bar?” I replied.

Dr. Childers wrote some more stuff in his notebook.

“Look,” Dr. Childers said, “if nothing else, you should now realize that your tee-hee’s were not a manic episode. They were just a defensive reaction to triggered depressive thoughts that led to an unhappy fantasy involving snake rejection, all fueled by the self-loathing that feeds your negative self-image.”

“It fed more than that,” I confessed. “After the dream I molested my garden hose. But I did use a washer.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Dr. Childers said. He scribbled down some more notes.

“So where do we go from here?” I asked.

“Well,” Dr. Childers said, “our time is up. I suggest that you return home, think about today’s session for a bit, and then we’ll talk more about it next week.”

“Bye, Doctor,” I said. I got up and headed toward the door.

I thought about what Dr. Childers had said on my way back home, and concluded that he was right. He was always right! Sometimes that annoyed me.

As soon as I got back I went upstairs, grabbed the garden hose, and put it back outside in the yard. After I said, “Thank you.”
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Lee Goldberg 2011, 2012, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Contact info: leegpoetry@gmail.com

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