The therapist who treated my depression when I was a kid once blasted into my nostrils how high on myself I was, and then confessed, afterward, how he was just trying to steal a lie out of me in order to shake the little gem I was loose, since my contentment with where I was seemed to him my way of fitting myself into a way of being I knew I couldn’t wear. This is something I think about each time I happen to walk in on Bucky Simms, my boss, while he’s in the middle of a meeting with Rachel. “Are you guys in the middle of a meeting?” I said. “Rachel, shut the door, quick!” Bucky said. I heard the door shut behind me and then Rachel put a cloth over my face. When I woke up I was tied to a chair and they were standing in front of me. “We’ll only take one of your fingers if you tell us,” Bucky said. “Tell you what?” I said. Bucky nodded at Rachel and she cut one of my fingers off with a butter knife. “I wanted to thank you for all the help you’ve given me this year, and for believing in me,” I said. “Quick, cover his mouth, Rachel. The duct tape is over by the pencil sharpener,” Bucky said. “But he’s not really harming anybody, Rachel said. “Thank you, Rachel,” I said. “Now you can explode.” Rachel disintegrated. “That was a nice de-atomization!” Bucky said. “You don’t think it could have been faster?” I said. Bucky ran for the window, but I stopped him with my mind and swatted him against the wall and held him there. “I feel like you have a towel over me,” he said. “Let me take it off you,” I said. “I still feel like it’s on me,” Bucky said. A fluorescent purple hippo ran into the room. “Purple hippo, do you need help getting back to your world?” I said. It took its head off and Lester Makris’ head grew in its place. “Lester, next time you puke, could you please do it in my mouth?” I said. “Sorry, Dan, it’s my blood pressure acting up. All I did was a somersault,” he said. “Try somersaulting faster next time. The centrifugal force might keep it down,” I said. “Are you trying to talk to Bucky again?” He said. “Actually, we were practicing not talking to each other,” Bucky said. “Make him pop,” Lester said. But I didn’t trust Lester. And besides, I wasn’t the killing kind. Not usually.

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