I sized-up Doctor Fear and he sized-me-up. How do psychiatrists measure things? Feelings fluctuate like the ocean tides, but they’re not regular—they’re like storms, or crop circles we don’t understand.
“Why should I trust you to solve my problems?” I asked.
“Because you’re afraid,” Doctor Fear said. “And nobody you talk to, understands you. That’s a frightening place to be.”
“A Place with no name.”
“Are you sure you can’t read minds?”
“When you’ve been alive as long as I have, the answers to the big questions become obvious.”
“What should I do with my life? I try to put it on hold, but the years keep skipping by.”
“Well… I have a couple options for you,” Dr. Fear said. “You can take an agreed-upon risk each day, with a stipulation. This usually works. If it doesn’t, I’ll have to kill you.”
“You heard me. If you are serious about the therapy I provide, you will need to sign your life over to me.”
“What’s the other option?” I asked.
“Plan B Pills. And no, they’re not to prevent pregnancy. They make you live forever, until you have to murder yourself to die. Most patients want to, after 150 years. The bridge is the best place. Immortality stretches you, like a man at the end of his rope, until he works-up the courage to do, whatever it is he wants to. Most, kill themselves, before they actually try. They don’t have enough fear, and plenty of time.”
“I’ll try Plan A.”
“Good choice. To do otherwise would be out of order.”
“What’s the risk I need to try?” I asked.
“Get lost, without any money, without any friends, and find your way back home.”
“What does that achieve?”
“Just do it, and you will know.”
“It will take me one hour, to lose you, in an unfriendly place. Give me your credit cards and your clothes, and put these on.” They looked like they belonged to the bum under the bridge.
“Now, I’ll drive you. And wear this mask.”
When I got out of the limousine, I was at a liberal arts college, with pale feminists, sunning themselves on an off-color lawn.
To be continued…