Friday, April 12, 2013

Last Day at the Asylum

Scene: The wide porch of an expensive and luxurious Mental Hospital. It is an early twentieth century estate, perfectly maintained and landscaped. There are wicker chairs, tables, and baskets of hanging plants. In the distance several people sit on the lush green lawn engaged in an al fresco therapy session. There is distant laughter and several psych techs dressed in white monitor the patients from a discreet distance. A man throws a Frisbee to his attendant who catches it and throws it back. It is a pastoral scene.

An attractive woman in a pale yellow dress sits in a comfortable chair on the porch. There is a bowl of fruit on the table at her elbow. She carefully chooses a banana from the bowl, peels it, takes a delicate bite and turns a page in the magazine that lies on her lap.

The door swings open and a handsome man carrying a suitcase steps out. He is wearing a gray suit, white shirt with a flowered tie and a fedora.  He puts down the suitcase, tips his hat back on his head, stretches his arms and breaths deeply.

He speaks without turning around.

Man: Well, finally. I’m going home. I’m free and I’m out of here. After six months it is an enormous relief to be cleared; I am recovered, mentally fit and ready to assume my place in the world. I’ve missed the world. I’m really looking forward to working, to get back to my law firm and take charge again. I miss the challenges and rewards that come from a job well done. And, I must say, I am going to miss you, too, my dear. I’ve had my eye on you since you first arrived, you know. You never appeared dysfunctional at all; just the opposite. And, if you don’t mind, I think you are incredibly attractive. Beautiful. (The woman smiles, perks up, crosses her legs. Her summer dress rides up just above her knees.) I can’t tell you how great it is to be released from here, to be told that I am sane, functional and healthy. No more hallucinations, depressions or delusions. No violent outbursts or hysteria. Now that I am well, I hope I’m not being forward when I say that I’d like to see you, when you leave, when you go home, if that’s OK?  I am divorced, have significant funds, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way in my life. I am terribly attracted to you. In fact you have occupied my thoughts exclusively for the past several months. You are one of the reasons that I've made such breakthroughs, that I’m prepared to leave and that I am in good health. I don’t think I could have done it without your help and I hope we can meet when you are free and we can get to know each other better. I feel we have a future. Please say “Yes”.

Woman: Thank you. I’m flattered. I’ve been watching you, too, and I would very much like to see you when we get back to the city. So, yes, I feel the same. Very much so.

The man turns around, surprised and shocked.

Man: I wasn’t talking to you; I was talking to your banana.

No comments:

Post a Comment