From Craigslist: Group therapy available for anxiety, sex addiction and anorexia.
Medger Simpson parked the ratty Geo Storm several blocks away from his virtual office on Wilshire Blvd. The young psychotherapist wondered what Dr. Peterman, who he had not seen in five years, could possibly want to talk to him about.
Dr. Peterman was a psychologist who had worked in the mental hospital where Medger had done his college internship. The doctor specialize in multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia. Medger had facilitated a group therapy for families of patients with multiple personalities.
In all the time they worked together Medger had never gotten the impression that Dr. Peterman was partial to him in any way. Peterman had given Medger reasonably positive reviews. But, the doctor had always seemed cold and authoritative toward him. He was certain that he had been forgotten the second he walked out the door.
Medger climbed the stairs to his third floor office. He wondered why anyone would take the elevator when the stairs were faster and safer. When he reached the office he noticed with some irritation that the publicist he shared the office with had left some goofy looking guy’s headshots all over the desk. Medger put the headshots in a corner and placed his sign on the door. Soon after which he heard the elevator cranking to pick up his visitor.
Dr. Peterman entered the office the office wearing sweats and tennis shoes. The two men shook hands and asked after each other’s health. Dr. Peterman shut the door and sat down.
“So what can I do for you,” asked Medger.
Dr. Peterman leaned toward Medger in a conspiratorial fashion.
“Medger for the last six months I have been conducting an experiment on a young woman with schizophrenia. She had all the classic symptoms of it; voices in the head, delusions of grandeur and the paranoia that goes with it…
”Uh huh,” Medger said wondering where this was going.
Well, One day she came in for her usual appointment and I examined her. I was looking in her ears when I saw a tiny woman running down her ear canal. At first I thought I might be seeing things. I continued the examination and said nothing. But the next week I examined her and I saw a small boy riding a bicycle back and forth.
Medger sat back in his chair.
“DR. Peterson….um, are you having… do you think…are you in therapy right now,” Medgar said wondering if the doctors wasn’t experiencing a psychotic break.
“Don’t patronize me, Medger! I’m perfectly sane. I do, however know how crazy I sound. You’re the first person I’ve told about this.”
“Thank you, I’m flattered.”
“Medger, I have devised a device to extract these creatures. If I can take them out and study them. I may well be able to cure schizophrenia. If nothing else I could certainly cure hers.”
“Sir, what you are talking about is very dangerous. Not to mention illegal…..”
“I know it is. I can’t do it in the hospital. That’s why I’m coming to you.”
“What could I do?”
“Well, Medger, I was wanting to have you assist me and use your office for the extraction.”
“Dr. Peterman…..I don’t know. Isn’t there someone, well I mean you must have many trust worthy colleagues.”
“Yes, but I can’t go to any of them I am too closely affiliated with them. You and I barely know one another, no one would ever suspect.”
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to say no. You can’t just go around experimenting on people.
“Look, I’ve talked to the patient about it and she wants it done. She is very high functioning. She says she would rather be dead than keep taking meds all her life. I will give you fifty thousand dollars in cash and do anything I can to ensure that I will refer the most famous people I know to you for their psychotherapy.”
Medgar told the doctor that he would think about it and the two men parted. As he walked back to his car he wondered if he would end up losing his psychotherapist license over this. He drove back to the valley with his stomach in knots.
A week later he found himself at his office pacing the floor as he waited for the doctor to arrive. As he waited he imagined one of the men he shared the office walking in on him. It was impossible of course the door would be locked and their card keys wouldn’t work, but he worried just the same.
A few minutes later Dr. Peterman entered the small office with his patient Shelia in tow. She was a short, pale, slightly plump blond woman in her mid-forties. She looked nervous when she entered the office and there were sweat stains on the armpits of her Winnie the Pooh Tee shirt.
Medgar closed the door and the doctor sat Shelia down in a chair. The valium he had given her was beginning to set in. The doctor pulled out a contraption that looked like a giant twisty straw and inserted into Sheila’s ear and poured water into it. Nothing happened for about fifteen minutes. Then Medgar was astonished to see a tiny woman in a house dress swirling out through the straw. She landed on the carpet gasping for air. She was followed by the boy on the bike, a man in a tweed jacket with patches on the elbow, three waiters, a tiny Jesus, a teenager who resembled Sheila and a tiny version of David Strathan.
As the tiny people fell to the ground Dr. Peterson instructed Medgar to put them in a small fish tank. After Shelia’s head was empty, the men secured the fish tank and put the fish tank in a large box that Medgar placed on a dolly. The doctor handed Medger his money and instructed him to meet him back at the office in two weeks. He suggested feeding the people plain oatmeal.
Medgar went to retrieve his car from the parking lot next door and the doctor and Shelia left. Nobody noticed the three tiny waiters cowering under the desk.