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Therapy Transcript (2)

(Laughter deleted)

No, I'm not surprised that everybody's latched onto me as a symbol of the Massacre. How could they do otherwise? After all, it's my image they see every time the story gets an update.

I'm not blaming the media, though. They have to show something, and my image is what they have on tape. They don't seem to have much else.

You'd think that somebody besides that poor dentist would have been videotaping that afternoon, but apparently not. Or maybe they were, and the FBI got hold of the tapes before the media did. Maybe the Feds are keeping them secret so they can use them to help identify the murderers. The terrorists. Whatever you want to call them.

Is that what's going on?

Not that I'd expect you to say so even if you knew. I know you're trying to help me, but I also know who signs your checks. No, it's okay. I don't blame you either.

That image of me on my knees laughing, though . . . that's not me. I've never in my life felt the way I look there. I don't even know what I felt at that moment, but it sure wasn't what was showing on my face. Or in my body.

All I know is that I couldn't stop laughing. And that was all I knew then, too. It wasn't anything that came from inside, but a force from outside that took me over. It was as if an alien laugh ray caught me in its hot rosy glow, and the aliens turned the knob all the way up to twenty.

And I'd be laughing just as hard right now if you didn't have me doped up on whatever crap you have me doped up on. Loramoralawaddatadine. Good crap like that.

So I wasn't myself there in the park, and I'm not myself here in your study. Between the laughter and the good crap, I don't know who I am.

I do know that I'm not a husband anymore. But that was true before I started laughing. Karen erased that part before I even went to the Festival. There was already a blank spot for the laughter to fill up.

Now, though, I guess I'm not a teacher anymore, either. You think they've hired a replacement yet?

Not that it matters. Only two or three of my writing students ever really learned anything, and they could have done that without me. Community colleges aren't for learning, anyway. They're for passing through on your way to somewhere else. Unless you're one of the instructors. And maybe even then. Heck, look at me.

Where did you say we were?

Never mind, I already know: I'm everywhere. I'm a million sick pixels being replicated on a billion TV screens from Hong Kong to Hamburg, bouncing from satellite to satellite in between.

That's me now. I'm not anybody's son anymore. I'm not anybody's daddy anymore.

It seems like a year since I've seen Lindy. And what's it been, really, a week? Eight days, nine days? What day is this?

I don't even know where or when I am. Much less who.

But I did. I did know where my feet touched the ground, and what day it was. And I knew who I was, too.

I knew all of that right up until those people beside me started bursting open red and yellow and red. They started bursting open and crying and falling. And ever since then, all I can see of myself is the same thing everyone else sees.

That happy laughing motherfucker right there.

Turn it off.

Turn it off right now.



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