Freudian Slip
Freudian Slip

“And this one? Kevin?” the shrink's voice rose an octave as he tried to get me to pay attention. “What does this one look like?”

I stared at the ink blot for a moment before turning away to look at the grandfather clock set up pretentiously by his wall of degrees and certificates. Dr. Kessler, specialist, psychologist and most importantly, friend. What a load of bullsh*t.

“Like someone spilled something?” I shrugged my shoulders with a grunt.

“Kevin, you know that's not what I mean. Come on, this will be the last one, I just need you to try and participate,” the bespectacled, bearded, sweater-vest wearing anthropomorphic PBS special bounced the card stock Rorschach test in his well-manicured hand.

I sighed deeply, and very consciously turned and stared at the card. I didn't like looking at them. I didn't like the way they made me feel. The arterial sprays of black ink making me feel... something. There was something there, just under the surface, brief glimpses, images of strange creatures being slaughtered by the thousands, flickering into my sight like someone had spliced frames from a horror film into my regularly scheduled life. Their bleating, warbling (and sounds that I don't even have the words to describe) just barely unheard, like the dying reverberations of an echo.

I twitched.

Doctor Kessler scribbled something on his note pad and then raised a single brow as he rested his chin against the palm of his free hand, his elbow propped up on the arm of his leather seat.

“What is it, Kevin? You can rap with me, dude.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. What an unbelievable jerk off. “I saw a skateboard. With, like, a turtle on it.”

“I see...” he offered, nodding and writing something down with his miniature, green golf pencil.

“Is that good?” I asked and looked around the room, anything to avoid staring this guy in the eyes.

“Well, it's not bad... there's no right answer to this test,” he explained.

“So what's the point?”

“The point is that your parents are worried about you, they've noticed a change in behavior lately that's got them alarmed. They thought maybe if you had someone outside of the family to talk to, that you'd be more able to open up about some of the things going on in your life right now,” Kessler intoned, with affected empathy.

I recoiled for a moment hissing out my displeasure as I sank a bit further into the identical chair across from the psychoanalyst. “I'm not really interested in talking to anyone.”

“Well, Kevin, you can expect a level of transparency in all of our dealings...and everything you discuss with me falls under my client-psychologist privilege. I won't share a word with anyone, not even your parents, unless you want me to,” he smiled and set the Rorschach card against the arm of his chair. He took a sip out of a glass of water that he had set onto a coaster, on the small, ornately crafted wooden table by his side. It sported a Celtic knot design that traveled up along to pattern the hand-made side table. Spires. Spires of twisting black bursting up from me, stretching high into a strange, and exotic lavender sky.

I blinked again. “I – uh – I've been having these strange dreams...” I blurted.

“Go on, please.”

“Well it's like this... this place, it's not earth, it's like an alien planet and there are these animals on it. They're strange, I don't know the names for them, but they're being just... slaughtered and devoured by this thing, it's this mass of like... tentacles and... it just... engulfs everything on this planet... you know?” I asked, searching his eyes for some understanding.

“And how does that make you feel?”

“Hungry,” I rumbled below my breath.


“Angry,” I said a bit louder.

The alarm on his desk rang with a gong chime and he reached over and swiped a finger over the touch screen to quiet it.

“What I'm hearing, Kevin, is that you feel as if you're in a strange place and this tentacle-thing is that place destroying and isolating you from your old life. It's not uncommon for young men and women to feel cut off from the rest of society, especially during this time when hormones are raging and... well... tell you what, why don't we continue this conversation next week. You're starting classes at your new school then, aren't you?” Kessler asked.

“Yes,” I answered and stood up from the chair. We shook hands and I could feel the imprint sweeping through my body as his genetic information surged through each and every cell.

“Good luck with that, if you need anything you have my number if you need to get in contact. Remember, these feelings are normal and you're not alone. Okay?” the psychologist smiled and led me out of his office.

“Okay,” I said quietly and walked out of the office and down to the building's lobby where my mom was waiting.

We left the office complex together, my mother and me.

Perfectly normal, perfectly sane, me.

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