Rabbit

by dantewilde

‘They come to me at night mostly, Katherine. They speak in Persian. Sometimes. I don’t speak Persian though so I can’t understand.’
‘How do you know it is Persian?’
‘I don’t really. It’s hard to say. I guess I actually truly don’t know that it isn’t what it is but it is what it isn’t.’
‘I don’t understand, could you please be clearer for my notes.’
‘But you are recording me. Why do I need to be clear, you can and I know you will, listen again.’
‘Please.’
‘Okay. There is a song, The Girl with Golden Eyes, I like it. The lyrics are ‘she speaks to me in Persian; she tells me that she loves me, the girl with golden eyes.’ It’s about heroin, but I like to think it’s about me. Except, and this makes me sad, they don’t tell me they love me and it isn’t her it’s them they are a they. Do you understand yet?’
‘I think so.’
‘Good, next question.’
‘What is your name?’
‘You all ask that. Each one of you, you come in and you ask me the same question. I’m sure you know the answer, next Question.’
‘Tell me about the dreams.’
‘No.’
‘I can’t help you if you don’t want to talk.’
‘Are you helping me, or am I helping you?’
‘I see, your thought patterns are interesting.’
‘Perhaps, so are yours.  Your idiosyncrasies make you interesting. The way you flick your hair, the way you reach for the strand that used to hang across your forehead, you know it’s not there, but you can’t help it. You look amazed. Truth is you’ve been doing it since you walked in, an hour and half ago. You miss it. That much is obvious. The way you interlock your fingers, you always unlock them when you are feeling intrigued. It is fun talking to you, I can make your fingers lock and unlock. Also, and everybody else knows this already, your face, yes that one, the interested one, is very well rehearsed. You don’t always care much for what I say, but after your fourth visit, I could tell you were naturally interested in some things. If the patients don’t interest you, why are you here? It isn’t for the money, no, you hardly get paid at all.’
‘That is quite enough. I will note your observational skills in my notes and every word has been clearly recorded. Before I move on to my next question, I would like to know, how you worked these things out.’
‘That’s simple, you have come into the room four times, and each time you have stayed for two hours that gives me eight hours of studying you, while you study me. Do you know what I do when you leave?’
‘No I don’t please tell me.’
‘I think about you. Well. Now don’t flatter yourself, I think about everybody that comes in, though it is mostly you. I like you, a lot. Anyway, when you are gone and it’s just me here, I like to think about you, I replay the meetings in my mind, like a movie that I watch over and over. That’s what makes me special. Have they shown you my notes? I write about you a lot actually, and that man that comes in, I forget his name, you two both feature a lot.’
‘You’re repeating yourself, are you lying?’
‘No. I’m thinking. I’m thinking about why I think about you all the time and write notes based on you. You really aren’t that special. You see that book there? Yes that one, on the table. Catcher in the Rye is my favourite book. I feel as though if I were insane, I would be like Holden Caulfield. He pisses me off, I hate him.’
‘So let me get this straight, you write notes on me when I’ve left, and use your powers of observation to create those notes and you have a love hate relationship with Holden Caulfield, the book’s protagonist?’
‘I don’t have a love hate relationship with Holden, I hate him. But Phoebe, her character is the best, I adore her maturity and have to admit, that without her character Salinger would have wasted his time writing that novel. Holden needs her in, and this is a stretch, an almost symbiotic way. Their relationship dimensions interest me. You look puzzled. Have you read the book?’
‘Yes, I have read the book; it isn’t that interesting to me. I am more of a Lord of the Flies person myself; the examination of the human condition is far more exciting and meaningful than anything Salinger could have managed. However, that is beside the point, I am puzzled that’s correct. I noticed a change in you, the way you talk.’
‘I now doubt your intelligence. I was talking similar to Holden, yes.’
‘Don’t you hate him?’
‘I do.’
‘Why?’
‘ Let me be totally clear. One of the many reasons I don’t like Holden is the way he talks, it infuriates me. I figure if it infuriates me in the way that it does, the effect on you must be tremendous.’
‘Is this a game to you?’
‘You still don’t get it do you?’
‘Get what?’
‘Exactly, I am not nearly as perceptive as you think I am. I simply have enough time on my hands to study you meaningfully, doing this, means that I can then work out the best ways to interrupt your examination, like now for instance, I am in control of the situation and I have moved the conversation away from the real reason you are here. My dreams.’
‘Do you not want us to help you? By disrupting the examination you are simply slowing your road to recovery.’
‘Are you helping me or am I helping you?’
‘We’re helping you, now, tell me about the dreams.’
‘They come to me at night mostly. They speak in Persian. Sometimes. I don’t speak Persian though so I can’t understand.’
‘How do you know it is Persian?’
‘I don’t really. It’s hard to say. I guess I actually truly don’t know that it isn’t what it is but it is what it isn’t.’
‘Is this the ending?’
‘There is no real ending. There is only the beginning.’
‘Let us then start once again from the beginning.’
‘For your notes?’
‘Yes, for my notes.’
‘They come at night mostly. They speak to me in Persian.’
‘They come at night, mostly?’
‘Yes mostly.’
‘I see.’
‘You do?’
‘Yes.’
‘They come at night mostly. They speak to me in Persian. Often I cannot understand. They sing.’
‘Please carry on.’
‘Don’t interrupt.’
‘I’m sorry.’
‘Good. I drank the wine. I took the pill. I’m here now and they are not. That is nice. Life often isn’t nice. Have you noticed that? To the greatest people, life can be the most awful. Phoebe, Holden’s sister, life is awful to her and I don’t fall for Salinger’s trap, it isn’t the fault of Holden, Allie died and that couldn’t be helped, Holden did the best he could to deal with it. Yet life is still so awful to him. Every time life is hard on Holden it is hard on Phoebe. My favourite scene of the book is the carousel, right at the moment when Phoebe puts the red hunting hat on Holden’s head.’
‘Don’t you hate Holden?’
‘I do.’
‘Why?’
‘One of the many reasons I don’t like Holden is the way he talks. But Phoebe, her character is the best, I adore her maturity and have to admit, that without her character Salinger would have wasted his time writing that novel. Holden needs her, in, and this is a stretch, an almost symbiotic way. Are you familiar with Alice?’
‘Alice?’
‘Yes, Alice, are you familiar or not?’
‘No, I’m not familiar with Alice, we haven’t met, is she one of the ones in your dreams?’
‘No, she is a character, Lewis Carroll’s character.’
‘Ah, Alice, yes I know Alice, what about her?’
‘ I often feel like I have followed her down the rabbit hole, the Mad Hatter, the tea parties, if I haven’t I certainly wish I had followed her down the rabbit hole. Then again, at the bottom of the rabbit hole, they might slit my throat like a lamb. I could have ended up on the table at the tea party and as a feast for the Mad Hatter.’
‘Do you feel as though your life is an amalgamation of Holden’s and Alice’s?’
‘Exactly, you are quite good at this. I just need difference, something that is new, something that is Alice. Have you noticed Holden’s life is very ‘samey’ so to speak? Like this chair, is very much the same as yours, the white on these walls isn’t getting any less and the blue ink in my pen isn’t getting blacker, much like this jumpsuit isn’t getting any more attractive, and that mirror over there on the far wall, no matter how often its cleaned, it doesn’t get any cleaner.’
‘Would you like to get out of here?’
‘It would be nice.’
‘So, shall I help you?’
‘OK.’
‘Tell me about the dreams.’
‘Sure. I don’t always remember them; I remember that they speak to me in Persian-. ‘
‘Do your dreams speak to you in Persian, or do you dream that your dreams are like the song?’
‘Don’t interrupt. Do you ever worry that if you followed me down the rabbit hole, after I followed Alice that the Mad Hatter would eat you?’
‘No, I do not. Answer the question.’
‘No.’
‘In my pocket, there is something that will help you to see the rabbit hole. Alice hasn’t been down it yet, so you would be the first, would you like to see it?’
‘Will Alice get eaten?’
‘You’ll have to see, answer the question.’
‘OK. I’ll answer your question. I don’t know if they speak Persian or not. I do love the song and Persian is romantic to me. So yes, I guess you could say that I dream that my dreams speak to me in Persian. Though, my biggest worry is the rabbit hole.’
‘Is the rabbit hole in your dreams?’
‘It is in my night dreams, yes. I have different dreams during the day. But let us focus on the night dreams. It is, after all, what will get me to the rabbit hole. So, my night dreams. My dreams are often of my life; Phoebe is in them, that is how I know. I have never been to the rabbit hole and every time I try to talk to Alice, she is less than communicative. I have seen the rabbit hole in her paintings and only in them. If my dreams do not speak Persian, which I have confessed they do not, then they speak an eastern language of which I am not familiar. Maybe they tell me they love me.’
‘Who are they? Please be as clear as you can be. You’re case is of great interest to us.
‘You don’t have to lie. I want to see the rabbit hole. I want to know if Alice is eaten or not. They are the creatures that come into my dreams, shapes and shadows, crawling, walking, and sitting melancholic but not melancholic in every form, of course not. They are sometimes anthropomorphised, though most often the anthropomorphised ones are of course killed by Alice’s friends. They are the jealous type; Lewis Carroll wouldn’t want you to know that. They are also magnificent, gracious and terrific conversationalists. It is mostly their voices in my head, I can tell because the ideas are so good they could not possibly be mine. Do you need to know more? ‘
‘No, that’s great for now. As promised, this will take you to the Rabbit Hole, what happens there is up to you. It was good to see you again, Alice.’

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