You were having a lot of bad dreams. Dreams where you’d murdered somebody and were plagued by guilt and fear that you would be caught and punished for your crimes. You ran. They caught you and punished you. And then you woke up. Repeat.
It had been happening for a while. You wouldn’t remember it at first, but then while you were eating your morning bowl of Special-K it would suddenly all come back to you, and you would wonder to yourself “Did I really do that?” nearly endlessly before you finally decide that you didn’t. Though the dream was so vivid, you can’t come up with any memory to suggest it could be true. You calm then, and go back to eating your pretentious cereal.
Then one day you had a dream that you’d killed a teenage girl. One who’d really been murdered when you were in junior high. In the dream you strangled her in the alley between the block that divided your houses and left her there. When you woke up that one bothered you more than the others, and you wondered if you needed help. You knew you couldn’t have killed the girl, as her body wasn’t actually found in the alley but rather at a lake twenty miles away, and as you were a year younger than her and had neither access to a car nor the knowledge to operate one it was downright impossible that you could have done the deed. While this knowledge helps relax you, you still think that the dreams are unhealthy.
So you grab a copy of the Yellow Pages from the stack that sits outside your apartment building until someone throws them away and find a shrink. There are so many shrinks in the phonebook that you resort to finding the one with the classiest ad. It takes a while to decide, but you finally settle on one Herbert Nettlemier, and call him on the cell phone you still suspect might be giving you cancer. His dim receptionist answers and you set up an appointment in to days’ time. Only after you make the appointment do you realize that you’ve never met a sane shrink.
And then you wait. Each night you have another dream about murdering the girl, each more graphic. By the time the morning of your appointment comes your hand is trembling slightly and you decide to skip breakfast, your appetite having pulled a Hoffa.
“It’s good to see you, Mr. Jacobs,” the receptionist you’d already spoken to (but are just meeting) says when you arrive at the appointment. Then she hands you a stack of papers to fill out. You briefly wonder why you fill out the same forms every time even though they should have your information by now, and think about making a quip, but ultimately decide not to.
You finish the paperwork and are ushered back to an exam room to wait for your doctor who is perpetually late even though he won’t tolerate you being less than fifteen minutes early. He’s even more later for the appointment than he usually is, to add insult to injury.
Still, you greet him in the formal manner and he gets down to shrinking your head. Whatever he does doesn’t work, as once your appointment is done and his office spits you out onto the sidewalk outside of the office you feel nothing but confused.
You walk around the block a few times, chiding yourself for wasting so much money on so much uselessness. When you’re done regretting your decisions you head to your job. You’re the boss thankfully, so you don’t have to answer any uncomfortable questions about your random break. As you supervise the peons at work you feel a sudden hatred for them, but manage to fight it down. That’s what you do, you manage.