Tuesday, June 9, 2009

His fictive self

Orton didn't much like the rain. It always seemed to him that the rain was a completely unnecessary waste of water, and besides, it always seemed to him that the rain ruined his picnics. Being a good American, Orton decided to do something about this major problem.

The first person Orton approached was the head of his local meteorological society, who rejoiced in the name Robert. Robert listened to Orton's complaints with the gentle sensitivity that heads of local meteorological societies are renowned for, and then proceeded to make them both a really nice cup of properly hot tea. Orton, waiting patiently for a response, sipped his tea while Robert pondered Orton's words. After a few minutes Robert said, "You know, it's really very interesting. There's really only two ways to use the words 'love-hate relationship.' Either the person is being very serious, or they're making a joke. Think about it."

Orton thought about it for a minute, and then asked, "What the heck does that have to do with anything?"

Robert gently responded, "Oh, it's very simple. You have a love-hate relationship with rain."

Orton, having finished his tea, slammed his cup down and said, "That's so not true! I don't have a love-hate relationship with rain-it's a hate-hate relationship!"

Robert was not disturbed by this outburst, and he calmly said, "That's not possible. No one could possibly have a hate-hate relationship with rain. I mean, who doesn't love rain, at least on some level?"

"Me!", proclaimed Orton, "I do! I hate rain! Hate hate hate hate rain! Why don't you get it, you with your silly cups of tea and fancy titles and whatever-I hate the rain! Stop negating my feelings-I need to feel validated!"

Robert, still unperturbed, said, "I don't think you need a meteorologist, you need a mental therapist."

So Orton went to visit a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist had Orton wait in the waiting room for several minutes while he finished drinking a really good cup of nice hot tea, and then he called Orton in. Orton came in, and said, "Hello, my name is Orton, and I need help."

"Well, you've come to the right place then, because I can help you. Tell me, did you get a referral?"

Orton, wondering why the psychiatrist hadn't told him his name, guardedly said, "Yes, I was told to go to a therapist by the head of my local meteorological society."

The psychiatrist, whose name (if you must know) was Dr. Orange, took copious notes, and then said, "Oh, hmm. Interesting. Yes. I see. Quite. All right, what appears to be the issue that you need help with?"

Orton, still in the dark as to the identity of the doctor, suddenly had a brain wave. He recalled that their had been a name on the door of the office when he had entered, but he hadn't bothered noticing what it said. He resolved to figure it out, and to that end asked, "Actually, before we get started, could you possibly tell me where the men's is? I ate a burrito before coming here, and it's disagreeing with my stomach."

Dr. Orange took some more notes and said, "Oh, of course! Why don't you use my personal bathroom here so that you don't have to waste too much of your billable hour?" Saying this, Dr. Orange opened a door off the office and pointed Orton inside.

Orton was of course quite put out by this, and tried to think of a way to rectify the situation. With a flash of brilliance he began to unroll the toilet paper into the toilet, and when he had done that he threw all the tissues in to the bowl too. He was about to flush when he remembered that people often kept extra toilet supplies beneath the sink, and he checked. There wasn't any toilet paper there, but there were seven or eight instant noodle soups which were all, Orton noticed, empty.

After flushing the toilet a couple times (the first time it jammed a little, and he had to clear it up) Orton opened the door and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry to bother you, but there's no toilet paper or tissue in the bathroom!"

Dr. Orange took some notes, and then rising from his chair and walking to the bathroom he said, "Oh, that's very strange. I thought I told my secretary to make sure there was always a good supply of both. I suppose I'll have to fire her. Nevermind, I'll show you to the bathroom at the end of the hall."

After finishing up in the bathroom (Orton hadn't had to go, but he took the opportunity to check his email on his iPhone) Orton walked back to the office, and reading the nameplate and committing it to memory he walked into the office saying, "So where were we Dr. Franklin?"

Dr. Orange said, "I'm sorry, you have the wrong office. Dr. Franklin meets patients in office 207-this is 214. Hers is right around the corner."

Orton was (understandably) quite shocked at this reception, and he said, "Huh? You aren't Dr. Franklin?"

Dr. Orange didn't understand what all the shock was about, and he said, in an annoyed tone, "No, I'm not Dr. Franklin. I thought we already established that. This is office 207. Hers is 214. It's down the hall. Now if you'd excuse me I have to work on these patient notes. Thank you, and good day."

Now Orton was really confused. "Those are my notes you're working on," he exclaimed, "You were just seeing me!"

Dr. Orange looked at Orton for the first time since he had come back into the office, and he gave a start of recognition. "Why, so it is the man I was just seeing! Who would've thought it? I'm sorry for being so rude just now, but as I said, Dr. Franklin's office is just down the hall, number 214."

Orton, getting a bit frustrated now, testily said, "What? I'm your patient! Ok, maybe I called you by the wrong name accidentally, but why are you sending me to another doctor?"

Dr. Orange looked compassionately at Orton, and he said, "You say it was accidental, but it's what we in the business would call a 'Freudian slip.' You called me 'Dr. Franklin' because she's the doctor you really want to see."

Orton said, "What are you talking about? I've never heard of this guy Dr. Franklin before. Look here, I'm paying a lot of money for this visit, and you're wasting it on a whole load of stupidity-what is this, some new form of therapy or something?"

"Don't be ridculous," said Dr. Orange, as he wrote in big letters in his notes 'UNRESOLVED ANGER ISSUES (PROBABLY STEMMING FROM CHILD ABUSE)', "both you and I know that the only way to have a proper and therapeutical session is for both involved partners to be fully committed."

"What would make you think I'm not fully committed?" asked Orton. "Didn't I pay through the roof for this appointment? Didn't I show up on time, cancel my golf, miss my favorite tv show (Prison Break), and break my date with my wife so that I could come?This is ridiculous!"

Dr. Orange wrote in his notes 'PLAYS GOLF, WATCHES PRISON BREAK, HAS A WIFE-OBVIOUS SIGNS OF MENTAL DEFICIENCY EXPLORE EARLY CHILDHOOD AND PRENATAL CARE' and then said, "You may think you're fully committed, and I'd certainly like to think you are, but it appears that your id, ego, and superego have all spoken, and they've revealed that we're simply not on the same page. I'm sorry, but you should really go see Dr. Franklin."

At this point Orton was quite fed up, and he figured that Dr. Franklin couldn't be any worse than this guy (whoever she was), so he made his goodbyes and got the heck out of dodge. He found office 208, and continued up the hallway following the rising numbers until he came to room 214. It was the ladies bathroom. "This is ridiculous!" he thought, "sending me to a ladies bathroom? What kind of insanity is that?" Orton was by now thoroughly fed up, but he wasn't the type to just give up, so he walked back to office 207 and barged in. Dr. Orange was in the middle of arranging his collection of instant noodle soups.

"Why did you send me to a women's bathroom! Dr. Orange looked up from his arrangements and said, "Do you mind? I'm working on my prized collection here. Manners never hurt anyone, and in your case, their lack is very much felt."

Orton was in no mood for such histrionics, and he sharply said, "To hell and high water with your precious collection, give me an answer!"

Dr. Orange, no stranger to violent patients, calmly continued arranging his collection (this time by expiration date) as he said, "Even though you've been most rude I will answer your question because I think that sometimes when we deal with people we must teach and lead by example, not expecting to necessarily influence with great words nor awesome deeds but rather to affect a change with quiet assurance and measured tones."

Orton didn't even bother responding, which irked Dr. Orange, because he had rather liked his kettle speech. Realizing though that his sharp words were to meet no fellow foil he continued, "I sent you to room 214, which as you so brilliantly point out is in fact the women's
room, because that is where Dr. Franklin has her offices. Any other questions?"

Orton suddenly remembered something which had bothered him before. "Did you really fire that secretary? I'd feel really guilty if you had-I mean, she did nothing wrong."

Dr. Orange said, "My secretary? Oh yes. I was just joking. I wanted to inspire some guilt in you and see what the effects would be." After saying this he wrote in his notes 'GUILTY CONSCIENCE-PROBABLY A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR AND SERIAL MURDERER AND RAPIST OR SOMETHING'.

Meanwhile Orton walked back to the bathroom and timidly knocked on the door. After all, he wasn't the sort of man who walked unannounced into a ladies room. Nothing happened, so he knocked a little harder. Still nothing. Orton decided to give it one more try, and this time he got a response. A note was slipped under the door that said, "I'm busy right now, come back when I'm not busy."

Orton looked at this note and thought, "Wow, that's ridiculous. How should I know when she's not busy?"

Another note slipped under the door as soon as he finished thinking this that said, "If you really cared about your mental health you'd make sure to know when I'm not healthy."

This answer freaked Orton out, and he decided to drive home. It rained.

50 comments:

le7 said...

Wow, your stories are always so dramatic and everyone is always yelling at each other!

The Real Shliach said...

This was the best story I've written in a very long time. At least, it's the one I most enjoyed writing.

le7 said...

No. I do agree. I liked it a lot more than your Impersonator series. (I do like the impersonator, but I like Orton and Dr. Orange more...)

The Real Shliach said...

Maybe because the impersonator sometimes hit a little close to home?

le7 said...

The Impersonator only hit close to home when you explained it to me.

The Real Shliach said...

LOL.

Also, maybe this one was better because I basically knew where it was going the whole time.

le7 said...

Yeah it was good! Le7 like it lot. (See, I'm practicing the whole supportive wife dealio...)

The Real Shliach said...

And now I'll practice the understanding husband thing...

"So you'd like apples with charcoal? Really? Coming right up then..."

le7 said...

Do you meant apples roasted above charcoal?

The Real Shliach said...

No, that would be too normal.

le7 said...

Oooh is this like when I'll ask for a cream cheese, peanut butter, honey and granola sandwich?

The Real Shliach said...

Yuck! Um. Yeah, I guess so. Does this mean I have to make it?

le7 said...

No. I haven't eaten that sandwich in years...

The Real Shliach said...

Oh, good. I mean, if you really want it I suppose I could make it.

le7 said...

It's alright. If I really wanted it, I'd make it myself to make sure the proportions were correct.

sarabonne said...

Hate to interrupt your stream of intense-sandwich-regarding comments but I wanted to say;
Bwahaha. Very funny. Shame the doctor wasn't Dr. Pepper, but then you would have plagarized so Dr. Orange is quite alright.
Lastly, I think you should pursue therapy.

The Real Shliach said...

le7: excellent.

Sara: glad you enjoyed it.

Therapy therapy tirdof...

le7 said...

Sara, what do you think of TRS' new profile picture?

sarabonne said...

I just laughed really loud. A lovely picture...

le7 said...

Indeed.

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: does that mean you like it?

sarabonne said...

It means I think its funny so yes, I like it. Really captures your personality.

The Real Shliach said...

Nice. Thank J for taking the pic.

sarabonne said...

He's quite professional.

The Real Shliach said...

How much did cheerio pay you to write that?

sarabonne said...

Nothing, I'm in a generous mood. FREE COMPLIMENTS FOR EVERYONE! ONE SECOND ONLY!

le7 said...

Me next me next!

sarabonne said...

You are an astounding cello player, a very supportive friend/kalla, and you have an excellent pelt of hair which I want for my sheitel.

le7 said...

Wanna buy it? After the wedding, I'll sell it for cheap.

sarabonne said...

Totally! Um, is that weird?

le7 said...

I don't think so...

sarabonne said...

Well alright then. Fantastic.

Sebastion said...

thanks for the compliment! and Ive heard of stranger things.

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.
Did Orton hear a oo?
Just wondering, L d T.

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.
Did Orton hear a oo?
Just wondering, L d T.

Dovid said...

haha frustratingly funny story and nice pic

le7 said...

LdT: A small child I happen to know recently viewed the movie version of Horton Hears a Who. His favorite character was Meir Yehuval. Who knew there is yiddin in the Jungle of Noole?

le7 said...

Woops: should read "there are yiddin..."

Cheerio said...

i'm going to dissent with the supportive wife. i liked the impersonater better. maybe because it hasnt been explained to me, and so i enjoy it with innocence and simplicity.
like the pic. nice work!

The Real Shliach said...

LdT: wait for the next installment...

Sebastion: not that cheap.

Cheerio: well, I'm happy you like something. Anything.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

This is not the kind of story you expect from an ecstatic I'm-about-to-get-married guy. You should see Dr. Orange.

C said...

Rain sucks.

And the east coast is really not getting the fact that it it summer.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: hence the title.

C: that was the inspiration.

Cheerio said...

oh, cmon, i'm not that harsh of a critic! i like most of your stuff!
regarding rain: yeah, sunny California is not so sunny either...

e said...

Perhaps a common theme in trs' stories is the main character bumbling around and never reaching his goal. And if the story ends in disaster, all the better.

The Real Shliach said...

Cheerio: I'm mollified.

Re: CA: that's because you're in San Fran.

e: sounds about right. After all, the vast majority of people never come out on top-why should my stories reflect a different reality?

le7 said...

She's in Berkeley...

Cheerio said...

thank you for that, LE7. trs, you would have been safer just saying "the Bay Area".

The Real Shliach said...

same difference.

Sebastion said...

We have plenty of rain here!