03
Oct
12

yawn solo

“Actually, I suspect the future will in many ways resemble the world of the Jetsons, but while also containing aspects of the world of the Flintstones,” the mysterious academic elucidated before his rapt audience. “For example, flying cars seem practically an inevitability, but it is conceivable that due to water scarcity, people as soon as the year 1995 could very well be bathing in the spray from an elephant’s trunk.” Who was he? She found something magnetic about him, and she was hardly alone. Two palpable elements permeated the Upper East Side penthouse soiree that evening, with the charisma of the newly published psychiatrist Dr. Albert Elias a slightly greater presence in the air than the garishly dressed guests’ cigarette smoke. Later that week, she scheduled a lunch date with the party’s host to ask her confidentially if the doctor was seeing new patients. A card with a phone number on it came across the table.
The terse woman that answered her call placed her name, Janet Bonneville, on a waiting list and told her not to expect a call for another eight to ten months. Janet, who didn’t usually have many phone calls, asked her roommates to make sure and give her any messages from Dr. Elias’ office and in the intervening time attended a few of his lectures. By sheer coincidence, a few weeks later they both happened to be exiting art exhibitions next door to each other simultaneously, each hoping to beat the rain. Dr. Elias gallantly offered the first approaching cab, but upon hearing lightning strike a few blocks over, she suggested they split it. On the ride across the park, she told him she was a prospective patient of his.
“Don’t waste your time, my dear,” he told her flatly. “My psychiatry practice is a sham. The primal scream therapy I methodize is only a front for my lucrative career as a talent scout for local bands and horror movie casting directors.”
“How shall we stay in contact then?” She asked, surprising herself with her boldness.
“Let us leave for Europe tomorrow,” he said.
“Silly, I have work in the morning,” she laughed, believing he had been kidding.
“Call them in the morning and tell them your grandmother is dead.”
“Lie to them? Oh, I’m afraid I couldn’t.”
“Is it a lie? Are both your grandmothers living?”
“No, but..” she laughed again, this time not quite as confidently. Though these signs of unpredictable behavior made her feel a bit uncomfortable, he had an undeniable appeal.
The cab stopped at a light and she made a point of breaking her gaze, looking out her window to spy a ridged bank of soaking wet leaves under a tree across the street before turning back to him. In Iowa, her father had forbade Janet and her siblings from playing in the hip-high mountains of leaves they raked this time of year, insisting they burn them in a steel barrel immediately after collecting them. Pile of leaves after a rain might have a snake in it.

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