Please accept this is a tribute and advertising for the four K-PAX Books by Gene Brewer and the wonderful movie starring Kevin Spacey for imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Watch out in June for the wonderful new movie staring Kevin Spacey called Moon. This is going to redefine the collective conscious opinion of Artificial Intelligence by turning the plot of 2001 a Space Odyssey completely backwards.
Check out my Cupid stories under TV. Cupid is a lot like prot; a mysterious, wise, loving, full of joy de vivre but severely homesick man who claims he is the Greco-Roman god of love, cast down to Earth by his very dysfunctional family without any powers whatsoever as punishment for irresponsible behavior and required to unite one hundred couples in true love using nothing but tenaciousness and chutzpa alone before he can go home to his beloved Mount Olympus which sounds a lot like K-PAX except livelier. He has a very loving relationship with his pretty Psychiatrist who does help him but she receives help in return but cannot find out who he really is! Check out the original TV show which can be watched on you tube and some episodes of the remake can be watched at ABC's site.
K-PAX 9/11: Alternate Universe.By Elizabeth Hensley
From the secret files of Dr. Hamton.
(Not to be opened until the year 2099)
It had been an interesting medical conference in Hawaii. But now I was flying back to New York. I was on my last leg of the journey, very tried and looking forward to a peaceful flight and some sleep. But it was not to be.I happened to pickUnited Airlines flight 175 on 9/11 2001and all I can say is I am glad I had not been aboard American Airlines flight 11. At least our flight survived, but it did due to a very unusual passenger! Everyone knows how Robert Porter saved everybody aboard flight 77 and the South Tower of the World Trade Center. But until these files are made public no one but myself will know that Robert Porter was not a normal person. He had a condition that would have caused many people to spend decades confined to an institution, yet he functioned normally and to the point that he had the courage to do what no one else aboard that plane had the courage to do. And because of him, and an alien persona that lived in his brain, I and a lot of other people are still alive.
Yes, you read that right, an alien personality.
That fateful day I had boarded and taken the window seat so as not to be disturbed by my seatmate getting up and down. I only wanted to sleep.
I found out my seatmate was a vegetarian and ordered orange juice. To avoid a lecture about drinking I too ordered orange juice instead of what would have been my usual choice, a Bloody Mary, but I ordered the prime rib. I wasn't that keen to avoid a lecture that I would give up a chance to eat prime rib.
My seatmate looked at my choice and made the predictable comment that I was eating it so rare it was a wonder it didn't moo when I stuck my fork in. I made the predicable comment that I hadn't clawed myself to the top of the food chain to eat rabbet food.
He laughed at that and then asked, "What are you doing coming to New York?"
I said, "I live in Manhattan and am returning to my home. I've been to a medical conference in Hawaii."
My seatmate said, "I notice they never hold those conferences in places like Flushing, New York. I wonder why!"
I laughed and told him, "That is where they hold plumbing conventions. It would make more sense to hold a psychiatrists convention in Washington because of all the crazy politicians, but Hawaii was more fun."
He laughed at that and asked, "If all of congress went dangerously insane, how could we tell the difference?"
I pretended shock, "You mean they aren't?"
We were making small talk. He told me he and his wife worked as a Veterinarian's Assistants and his daughter was away at college studying to become a Veterinarian. I smiled and told him that it must be very rewarding work.
He agreed with me and said, "I used to help kill cows for a living. It is much more rewarding to save animals than to kill them. I"m hoping that my life balances out, or better yet, that I end up saving more animals than I killed.
"It's amazing how my life has turned out. Almost everyone I know has problems. Right now I don't have any other than having to watch our budget because my oldest kid being away at college. Other than that, I haven't a care in the world. I'm even able to take my friend and myself to see the Lion King musical. He has wanted to do that for ages ever since we saw the movie when my daughter was much younger."
I smiled, "It's nice to have a seatmate who doesn't have any problems. I'm a psychiatrist. Usually I end up being used for free help in these kind of situations."
He started laughing, "I always knew I'd end up talking to a psychiatrist but I never thought it would be at 35000 feet winging my way across the country in a plane that holds more people than went to my entire High School to go see a live on stage musical that was based on a Disney movie about talking Lions!"
I laughed too. "Yes, things are amazing these days, but if you don't have any problems why did you think you would end up talking to a psychiatrist?"
He gave me an embarrassed grin and a nervous laugh. I thought to myself, "Uh-oh here it comes. He isn't as problem-free as he'd claimed." But I didn't know the half of it!
I smiled encouragingly; resigned to spending the rest of my flight giving the usual free help we have to give when we are cornered under these circumstances.
Cautiously my seat mate said, "I was seven years old when I realized" there was something different about me that would result in me talking to a psychiatrist." He grinned one of the broadest grins I have ever seen. "You know, it's strange but I was telling the truth when I said I don't have any problems worth talking about. But I sure do have a BIG mystery! I'm not normal but I function and pass for mostly normal except for occasionally being distracted by my internal friend. But he's saved my life at least once, my family's lives too indirectly.
He told me this while I was in the middle of drinking my complimentary orange juice and I nearly choked. "Internal friend?" I asked cautiously.
My friend nodded and grinned a loopy grin, "Yep. I've got a big mystery all right. Tell me have you ever heard of a sane paranoid schizophrenic? Because that's what I must be. I function normally. I'm definitely not disturbed or scared about my situation. I take an interest in my surroundings have always held down a job and am successfully raising a family. I'm just puzzled, and I wonder how many others out there are in the same situation and if we are a new kind of crazy or if our world is kind of being invaded in a friendly sort of a way. My friend claims he's the only one, but by his own admission he doesn't know everything."
My new "patient" hesitated here the way people do when they are understandably reluctant to admit to their mental condition. But bravely he continued, "I have an alien from another planet living in my brain."
I managed to keep my professional detachment but it wasn't easy. I considerate considered the fact I had the window seat, and he was in the aisle. I would have to crawl past him to get away. As calmly as I could I asked, "Ah, you want to elaborate on that?"
My patient grinned. "He's in me now laughing and cheerfully warning me, 'Watch out robin you could get us both in a strait jacket.' 'I just reminded him I studied magic books so I would know how to get us out of one of those if we had to. Plus when we get to the airport I could outrun you."
I commented. "Ah, that was farsighted of you," and thought to myself, It certainly WAS!
My seatmate continued, "He talks to me all the time. Here's the thing. He's great company. I'm never lonely. I always have prot. He's my best buddy and he's an alien and he can take control of me if he wanted to. He does once in a while, mostly when there is food in front of us. But once he took control over me when I drove my pickup home. I had fallen asleep at the wheel. That was really scary! I woke up in bed the next morning and realized I could not remember driving home and had that gap in my memory I have when he takes me completely over. It was very disconcerting and a bit embarrassing." I asked him, 'Did you drive home last night?' He admitted it. He said, 'you were dead to the world mi Amigo. Out like the proverbial light. 'If I hadn't driven home you'd have had us both in a ditch, or worse.' He saved my life and the lives of my family one other time too.
I asked, "What did you do after that? Did you seek help?"
No, my new patient admitted, "I couldn't afford it if I'd wanted it. Instead I did as usual: The completely practical thing. I made sure my Alien really knew how to drive. I told him I was going to pretend I was a driving tester and I gave him a driving test. He passed perfectly. He knew all the laws and could handle the vehicle perfectly. This was not a surprise to me. After all he's been with me for years and Zen-watched every move I ever made in the car. He even has an advantage over me. He can see in the dark better. So now I let him drive once in a while when I'm tired. I know. That is really insane. But prot must be real enough to drive or he couldn't have driven that night. I don't know what he is, or what I am. Am I totally crazy thinking I have a friendly ET living inside of me? Or is he possibly a real alien? If so, why me? He frowned and said, "prot just said, "I asked for him so I got him." And "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it: Lt. Uhura. Star Trek."
I smiled, "Of course you are a Trekkie."
He shook his head, "You mean, 'Trekker.' Nope. I can take it or leave it, but my passenger loves it. That's another problem with him. He makes me watch, listen and read stuff I really have no interest in. Like the Lion King musical we are going to see. I took my daughter to see the movie and it was fun. I watched it. I'd rent the movie if my family asked me too, but darn it if prot absolutely adored it and has been hounding me to take him to the Lion King musical for over a year now. So we had a chance. My wife is off helping her sick Uncle. My son is away at camp and my daughter is still in her first six months of college for a couple more weeks. So I'm spending hundreds of dollars to fly across the country to see a musical based on a cartoon because an alien lives in my brain really, really wants me to! I'm crazy all right but I'm not disturbed about it at all. I love my alien puppet master." He grinned sheepishly, and then shrugged, helplessly, "Please don't call for the white coats and the end of this plane ride. Hopefully I can outrun them and you anyway. I keep myself in shape. After all I am eating and living for two!"Embarrassed grin).
Then he added, "Not taking care of one's body meets the legal definition of insanity, being a danger to one's self and others. Yup I looked it up. And prot and I don't qualify, but you kind of do." He smiled. "You are overweight and I can tell out of shape. Your arms are flabby. You don't exercise and those bags under your eyes indicate you are burning the candle at both ends. You need more sleep, to eat better and to exercise!"
Ruefully I nodded din agreement and did my professional best to get the conversation centered back on my new patient, "Did you ever tell your family about your Alien?
He grinned, "Are YOU crazy? Of course not!"
He laughed and gave a humorous shutter, "I am sure my wife would be very reassured if I explained to her the reason I am so distracted so often is I'm merely talking with a friendly alien to happens to live in my brain. She often has to say, 'Earth to Robin! Earth to Robin!' She doesn't know how accurate that is!" He laughed.
"It is definitely a gift and a curse. I used the Ann Landers divorce test on us and it is absolutely true. I'm better off with him than without him. So I don't want to get rid of prot. He's my best buddy and I want to keep him and since he's mostly harmless."
I asked him, "You said he saved your life one other time and your familie's life too. What happened?"
Robert shuttered again. This time it was not a humorous shutter. "It was the most scary and traumatic experience of my life! I had to kill a Guy! But if prot hadn't been in me and convinced me to stay home from work that Saturday it would have been my family that would have been dead instead. And I probably would have killed myself or gone truly insane!"
Robert closed his eyes and thought a moment and then shuttered again, "It was a beautiful Saturday. My family wanted me to stay home from work but I had a chance to make some overtime at my horrid job knocking cows in the head so they don't struggle when the poor dammed soul up the line cuts their throats. I was very tired and I hated my job but we badly needed the money so I was reluctantly all set to go. Even my very religious mother calling and reminding me that Saturday was the original Sabbath day and the "Big Guy Upstairs" would not be happy if I wasted such a beautiful Sabbath day at work when I could be resting with my family, did not dissuade me from going. But prot said, "I don't know anything about the Big Guy Upstairs but the little guy downstairs say your endocrine system and immune system are so stressed right now I am not able to do my usual things to help them. You need REST Robin so if you try to go to work today I'm going to give you a whazoo tummy ache. So you'd better stay home! This alien wants to sit under our apple tree and drink lemonade and watch the clouds, not sit there in your gut suffering while you kill poor cows. I hate it! You hate it and fives days a week of that is five days too many! You need to find another job and quickly!"
So I was furious with him but I stayed home. I didn't want that stomachache because I knew it would be very painful. It was definitely uncharacteristically forceful of him to threaten that. The only time he had ever done such a thing was a few times when I insisted don eating cheese pizza or chocolate and his doing so was almost involuntary due to a psychosomatic reaction to my forcing him to be exposed to animal foods. He lives in the neuron cells in my gut mostly due to the neuron cells in my brain being busy being me, so I guess being surrounded by souring milk products is not his idea of a good time. But this time he was threatening to do it deliberately. So I was very mad at him but I stayed home. Thank God I did!
He frowned, "prot just said, 'thank prot.' All right. 'Thank prot too.' Anyway there I was with my Alien in our back yard humoring him, sitting under our apple tree when suddenly I heard my Wife and Daughter in the house screaming. I ran in the back door and found a Human monster had invaded our house through the front door and had my wife at the throat with a knife! I reacted instinctively! I pounced on him and wrestled him to the ground and snapped his neck like it was a toothpick! I was and am very strong. I wrestled in high school and almost went to college eon a wrestling scholarship plus I swung a heavy sledgehammer all day long. Plus I was frightened and furious and full of adrenalin. I hardly realized I'd done it but he died instantly. At least he didn't suffer the way he was trying to make my family and myself suffer.
He shutterred again, "The police took 45 minutes to get to our house! They ruled it a cut and dried case of self-defense and didn't charge me with anything but the fact it took that long for them to arrive was really scary. After that we got a big dog though we hadn't thought we could afford one. I also bought a gun over prot's objections, learned to shoot it and made sure my wife knew how also. I also bought self-defense tapes and made sure we all watched them especially my daughter. I would have paid for self-defense lessons for my Daughter and Wife but we just could not afford it and we could not have got my Wife and Daughter to lessons. I had the only car. Prot wasn't happy about all this violent preparations but he knew I wasn't going to back down. But in his anger he forced me to take a good long look at what my life was turning out to be, a miserable copy of my Father's that had resulted in him being injured and finally dieing of those injuries. I knew he was right. I could not afford college but I found a mail order veterinarian's assistant course and I took it even though I had to take out a loan to pay for it. The chances of my actually getting a job in that field in my area with no more education than just a mail order course was very small. But I did. My Mother said it was because she was praying for me. Prot said it was because I just didn't give up and kept reading the newspapers and putting the word out I wanted such a position. But the town's only cat and dog vet hired me to help him. At first it was jut on weekends but her practice was growing and in a few months he hired me full time and I could quit knocking cows. I didn't make as much money as I had being a knocker and there were fewer benefits but my Daughter was big enough by then she didn't' need her mother around all the time. So my Wife took a job in town as a Secretary and we bought another car. Later my Wife took the same course and became the practice's other Veterinarian's assistant which worked out great. We got to spend a lot of time together and my Daughter started helping us on weekends and summer vacation when she got big enough. That led to her interest in becoming a Vet. She got a scholar ship based on her grades and now she is away at college and her Old Man is flying to new York and talking to a Shrink at 35000 feet! My seatmate grinned. "I may be crazy but I've had a productive and basically happy life despite a few challenges. So I really don't feel like doing a stint in a Looney bin. I can't afford it anyway. That would use up my Daughter and Son's college fund."
He continued, "Yes, I do know that these days all Mental Patients have to do to get and stay sane is take pills. I know Psychiatrists aren't monsters any more who do lobotomies and even mental hospitals aren't snake pits. You have bingo and crafts and stuff and even shock treatment is only done on one side so memory loss is minimized and you use muscle relaxants and anesthesia so it's not so bad. But that doesn't change the fact I don't want to lose prot. Crazy I may be but I love him!"
I didn't know what to say. I had never had a Patient who was so aware he was abnormal and so aware of what modern mental health can do who was so calmly adamant to stay abnormal.
My Patient stared at me with worried eyes possibly concerned I would call in the white coats. He added, "I figure if I was going to get worse and suddenly go completely off the deep end that would have happened decades ago, right? But it hasn't happened. I hold down a job. I help my Family. I'm there for my Children and Wife, and my Alien too, and myself. I do have a life. It is just my best Friend is an Alien who lives in my brain."
I grinned back. "Robert, another alien Mork from Ork on television says, :If it ain't broke don't fix it. I don't think you need fixing, just a little understanding and a better diagnosis than schizophrenia. You don't have schizophrenia. You have disassociative identity disorder, what used to be called multiple personality disorder."
Robert gave me a surprised look, "I never considered that diagnosis! Why do you say I have that instead of schizophrenia?"
I smiled, "Because as you said, you can function normally. Folks with disassociative identify disorder can do that. In fact sometimes they can function extremely well like your friend taking over and driving when you fell asleep. A singlet could not do that but you and your friend could. That is why disassociative identity disorder is considered a neurosis not a psychosis. Because folks with it can function and often very well."
He asked, "Why did they change the name from multiple personality disorder to disassociative identity disorder? Multiple personality disorder describes it better."
I explained, "Because people kept getting it mixed up with schizophrenia which incorrectly means split personality. Schizophrenics don't have split personalities just damaged ones, and if they can function at all it is in spite of their illness not because of it. You on the other hand are functioning very well and prot helps you function even better, hence his saving your life when you fell asleep in your truck that night."
Robert asked, "Why did this happen to me?"
I said, "It usually starts with some trauma. What happened right before prot entered you? Can you remember?
Robert nodded, "My father died and prot came into me at his funeral."
I nodded, "That would do it."
But not everybody who is traumatized gets an Alien or disassociative identity disorder.
I explained, "There is some evidence it runs in families so there may be a genetic component."
Robert said, "Oh." Then he grinned, "My daughter used to have an imaginary friend. I assume she's gone away, but then my Mother thought my imaginary friend had gone away too. I wonder?"
Then he surprised me even more when suddenly he started listening to his internal friend and said, "Now this IS unusual. Prot wants to speak to you.
That really startled me. Nervously I nodded my agreement.
The change was subtle but noticeable. One moment I had the calm Robert Porter and the next I had a white knuckler on my hands. A white knuckler would have been more the sort of person I would have ended up helping on your average plane ride. But he wasn't your average white knuckler and this turned out not to be an average plane ride.
He gave me a worried smile, "Hi Doc. I would usually be absoLUTEly deLIGHTED to be talking to another being. I haven't in ages. Just robert. I love the big lunk and he would normally be enough for me anyway. But we are about to have a big problem here!"
"What?" I asked cautiously. I was treading in uncertain waters here. I didn't know how prot was going to react.
My seatmate's alien persona said, "You see those Passengers over there? They have carpet knives in their pockets and they keep fingering them and they are very nervous! And that one there has a fake bomb under his clothes. I don't know how he snuck it past security but he did. I think they are going to try one our your more despicable EARTH customs, a hijacking."
I was really nervous myself now, not because I thought we were going to have a hijacking but because this obviously delusional Man did and in such a paranoid state he could be dangerous. I started to say something to try and sooth him when the Man's acute paranoia turned out to be all too reality based.
The Man who supposedly had the fake bomb suddenly stood up and said, "Attention! We are taking over this plane. I have a bomb! Anybody tries anything I will set it off!"
Then the other ones who were with him ran up and grabbed a Stewardess and held a carpet knife up to her throat. She screamed and tried to elbow him in his genitals but he was too quick for her. With one slice he slit her throat and she fell to the floor dieing. My crazy Patient's fears had come true! I was on the plane with hijackers and a seatmate who was mentally unstable! My Wife had warned me not to go, that something bad was going to happen. I would never question Women's intuition again!
The Man who had killed the Stewardess forced his way into the cockpit and I heard male screams.
The rest of the hijackers said, "Try anything and you will all be as dead as the Stewardess!"
We sat there in a state of disbelief. Or at least most of us did. My supposedly crazy seatmate seemed the only one not in shock. He was worried but he wasn't in shock. I noticed the change as Robert Porter came back. "My God!" he said, "prot was right! He knew the man had a fake bomb and that they all had carpet knives and he knew it before any of us could see them! How did he know that?"
I was startled. "How do YOU know that? I thought he was in control of your body!"
Robert shrugged, "He was. I let him. But I don't always go unconscious when he takes over. So I could hear and see what was going on. I have always thought prot had ways of telling things that the rest of us do not have. He calls it fopwa. But I always thought it was just craziness upon our part. But you saw and heard him do it too!"
I shrugged helplessly. "Robert this is no time to be becoming even more out of touch with reality. We have a situation on our hands!"
Robert gave me a look like I was the crazy one. "I know! I kind of noticed! So did prot and he noticed it before we did! That is weird and wonderful! It means I am not completely nuts. He is a REAL alien!'
I sighed, "That is your way of coping with the current mess we are in. if it comforts you…"
He shook his head, "No. This is my way of coping!" He grabbed his suitcases and tossed them at the hijackers knocking them to the floor. He shouted, "The bomb is fake folks. Throw everything at them!" Suddenly everybody did. Suitcases and pillows and seat cushions were flying. A burly Man grabbed his blanket and tossed it over the head of one of them, knocked him over and sat on him. A little old Lady poked one of them in the crotch with her cane and when he oofed over she got him in both eyes with the tip of it. And she kept whacking with gusto while other Passengers kept pummeling them with their food trays and kicking and stomping on them.
All well and good but what about the one in the cockpit?
Someone tried the door. It was locked of course. If t he Pilots had thought to do that in the first place we would not be headed to who knows where. But of course our NEW Pilot wasn't as foolish. NOW it was locked.
My "crazy" seat mate said, "We aren't defeated yet Doctor. Prot has an idea.'
Suddenly the Alien was back. He reached in their right pants pocket for something. He pulled out a mirror and a flashlight. He grinned at me, "Your concept of reality is about to get a tad shaky Doc. Sorry! I hope the other Passengers don't notice. I don't want robert to have a whole lot of explaining to do!" He looked at himself in the mirror and shined the flashlight at his reflection. Suddenly he wasn't there! Or at least that is how I experienced it. This could not be true of course I wish I could remember what really happened but I was in shock and this is all I can remember.
We all heard shouts and bumps coming from the cockpit. Then suddenly the door opened and Robert had the hijacker in- a wrestling hold. The other Passengers cheered!
We had a few tense moments when it became quite clear all our Pilots were dead. Fortunately there was a retired Air force pilot aboard and he managed to land the plane with some help from the ground. Everyone was so happy to be alive and safe that it was quite a while before anybody thought to ask Robert how he had gotten in the locked cockpit. When a Reporter finally did he shrugged, "The lock must not have caught or something. I don't know. I tried the door and I got in."
He winked at me and whispered, "prot is telling me liar, liar pants on fire!!"
I laughed nervously. I asked, "What
are you going to do now?"
Robert shrugged, "I don't know. Everybody is in shock over the loss of the North tower and the loss of lives here in New York and in the Pentagon and that Philadelphia flight. I guess we won't get to see Lion King after all. But at least we saved some lives and the South tower and prot got to talk to someone other than moi, and I'm not thinking I'm crazy any more, just possessed. But it's a GREAT possession and I wouldn't have it any other way for rather obvious reasons!"
"And the planes are all grounded. So I guess I'm going to take a long bus ride back to Montana soon as we are allowed to travel and I can get a ticket. In the mean time hotels are going to be hard to come by. Since you live here would you like two roommates for a few days? We only take up the space of one Person. So you get two for the price of one! How is that for a bargain?"
Nervously I laughed, "come-on Robert. Come on prot. I always wanted to hear what life was like on other planets."
There are some mental illnesses that are better off not cured.