If the nineteenth century was the age of the editorial chair, ours is the century of the psychiatrist's couch.
Marshall McLuhan

In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom.
J. G. Ballard

Entropy Gradient Reversals

50-Minute Hour

The Doctor Is In

"Do you understand why you're here?"

"Why, where are we?"

"I'll remind you again. The Lou Gerstner Memorial Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Does that ring a bell?"

"The name is vaguely familiar. Lou who?"

"Gerstner. He was chairman of some computer company. Generous philanthropist. Took a strong interest in our work because we ended up treating so many of his senior executives."

"This was before Michael Eisner became president, right?"

"Very good. But do you know why you're here? That was the question."

"I get some kinda reptile flashes, but that's all."

slurp! "Let's go over this again. You kidnapped your last employer and fed him to Komodo Dragons you had specifically imported for the purpose. Premeditation played a rather large role in your trial. The police found six of them in that crack house you left the poor fellow tied up in. One was 10 feet long and weighed nearly 300 pounds."

"Oh that."

"Yes that. You still seem to display no remorse. But let's get back to what we were talking about last time. Do you remember?"


The doctor pushes back from the desk, tenting his fingers to pursed lips. He looks at me intently for nearly a full minute.

"Let me refresh your memory then," he finally says. "You were describing how you felt invisible, as if no one knew what was going on inside your head. So tell me, just how long have you had this feeling that no one is watching you?"

I put hand to head trying to recall. Wasn't there something about this in my EGR To-Do folder from last week? "Oh yeah!" I brighten. "It's all coming back to me now. I guess it started in the sixties when we all thought the FBI had us under surveillance -- you know, for drugs and shit -- but then I began thinking it was just because we were lonely."

"Lonely?" he pounces. "How do you mean that?"

"Well, you know, sort of wishing someone would pay attention. Take notes. Keep a file or something. You know, like: 'Th