Cupid: When the Blind Lead the Blind
Get Out of Their Way!
Elizabeth Hensley 8-)
This story is dedicated to several dear Friends. They will know who they are. Martha, named after my Mother, is a very exaggerated combination of all of us including one dear Friend who is fighting with some amazing success metastasized cancer, plus a lot of fictional drama thrown in. This is one of my very rare hurt/comforts. The hurt in this lengthy piece is finite and much of it is fictional. The comfort is REAL and for everyone forever and ever! If you prefer a much shorter, sillier story take the two minutes to read the drabble, "Cupid: Not all matches Count!" and Cupid "The Silence of the Ham."
because God wants
Us beautiful like Bonsai Trees.
So God prunes!
(Sometimes God doesn't want us big.
Sometimes He wants us small!)
But having ones soul cut
to painful perfection
Hurts so very much!
And yet if we weren't
So cut and hurting
We'd be but ordinary Trees
Not works of art!
May this story bring all of us some comfort and giggles!
Dr. Greeley gazed at the Mental Patient trying to keep the fear and discomfort he felt out of his face!
The most disconcerting thing about Trevor Hale was he was ALL there. Unlike some poor Schizophrenic who was the way he or she was because of a deteriorating or damaged brain Trevor had (at some point) deliberately chose to become what he was due to the reality of his life being more than he could handle. So Trevor's mind was as sharp as a tack, just confused about his past. In his defense whatever had had happened to him that gave him hysterical amnesia and confabulated and very entertaining memories of Olympus to fill in the void in his mind the hysterical amnesia had caused probably was more than anyone could have handled because he seemed to be able to manage his current life just fine and while it wasn't the most stressful of lifestyles it had its moments. Bar tending could be hectic. But no one had ever seen Trevor even get the least bit flustered by the constant demands of Customers or the long hours he had to put in to make ends meet. And Trevor was the kind who managed to get involved in other People's trauma too. If anything he had been beneficial to others when that happened.
But the Man thought he was the Greco-Roman god of love! How he managed to cope with day to day reality with that delusion burdening his self-awareness was beyond the Shrink. But somehow he did!
The Patient was grinning at him, bluffing him down obviously. The Man was fully aware Dr. Greeley could push one button under his desk and have a dozen Orderlies run in and haul him off to an isolation ward, strap him down and inject him with strong sedatives! That wasn't stopping his audacious grin. And the grin wasn't due to thinking he had some kind of god-like powers to defend himself! No. Trevor was more reality oriented than that! His confabulation allowed him to know he had no powers at all other than cheekiness, faith, chutzpa and perseverance!
That was enough apparently. Knowing his vulnerabilities wasn't stopping him from grinning!
He also wasn't saying anything to get a good conversation going. But he was paying attention to Dr. Greeley fully. As the old Lawyer show had stated. "Anything you say can be used against you."
The Man had a memory like a steel trap! Nothing slipped by him! Nothing was ever forgotten if it could be the least bit useful! It worked in his favor when he was interacting with his Therapist. It was rare but he had been known to listen and gain help from her! But it worked against the hospital when Trevor felt it in his best interests to do so. The Man had already cost them research funding, making You Tube videos and doing television interviews where he fully admitted he thought himself to be the god of love "but I've been officially declared harmless and competent to manage my own affairs and no one deserves to have happen what they want to do to me. Write letters and stop this before it's done to others also!"
There had been a very effective drug in the research pipeline that would have made sex offending a thing of the past. All it would have taken would have been subjects to test it on. Though Trevor showed no signs whatsoever of being a sex offender he would have been an ideal test candidate due to his delusion he was Cupid and the fact there were no legal entanglements (I.E family to protest) his being used to serve society this way. If it could have killed interest in sex in a Man who was certain he was Erotic Love Incarnate it would have ended anybodies interest!
But the Man was just too cagey, had found out what was in store for him and had started a public letter writing campaign that had put a permanent stop to the entire FDA approval process for research of this very necessary medication ANYWHERE.
The need to monitor him while on the medication (which did have an annoying tendency to render Patients too passive and out of it to take care of themselves) would have been a good reason to lock him up again and did Dr Greeley ever want him locked up! Because despite the man's irresistible charm and seeming gentleness the Doctor didn't trust him! For because of his cleverness and ability to get the Public and his Therapist on his side he remained wild and free and as delusional as ever that he was a god and the god of erotic love at that! And there seemed to be no legal way to stop him! After a few television appearances and his homemade Youtube vids which made him a kind of lovable, crazy celebrity, a role Trevor just ate up (proving he was as much ham as god) over a dozen Lawyers had written him offering to represent him pro-bono if they ever tried to commit him again!
There was always that vague sense in the back of Dr Greeley's mind that the man was a walking time bomb! Yes he thought he was the god of love. But what if the other gods were other personalities inside the same Host too? What about his father, Mars the god of war?! Not all the Greek gods were gentle and loving. Some were really nasty to 'Mortals.'! There had been no sign of still other false personas than Cupid inside of Trevor Hale but he talked about his family all the time to Claire during therapy. They were very real to him including some of the nasty ones who even "Cupid" did not like! And sometimes other personas could stay dormant for years or even decades until just the right stresser or trigger....Dr. Greeley shuttered!
Dr. Greeley said, "Trevor talk to me!"
He snapped, "What would you have me say?"
Dr Greeley said gently, "You know this is your quarterly psychiatric exam and what I decide determines if I recommit you or not. So say anything you think would convince me to let you continue to have your freedom. Certainly if you are sane you understand the importance of keeping a dialog open between you and myself!'
Trevor looked at him, "You make my poor Therapist fill out weekly reports on me as if I were some kind of Animal being studied! She said once she feels like Jane Goodall or Dian Fossey being required to follow me around and record my every movement and any thoughts I choose to share with her. Isn't that enough? You could just read her reports except they'd probably put you to sleep. I am really not all that interesting! It's a good thing I am convinced I come from a People who had selective omnipresence and tended to keep a close eye on me too since I was a little stinker of a god! Her required behavior actually soothes me because it makes me feel a little bit more like I'm home!" (said like ET). "A so called normal Person would have been driven nuts by it! She's my Spy! A beautiful Spy! My personal, beautiful, Lady Spy!" Suddenly "light" dawned on his face! Dr. Greeley could watch a new fantasy settling in. "Say that has possibilities!" The Patient started humming Secret Agent Man and the Shrink could tell from the sudden stiff way he sat up he now had a collection of imaginary gadgets on his person!
Well his Therapist had said "Even in the throes of a delusion Trevor is capable of discerning between fantasy and reality in day to day life. Such a marked sense of fun is virtually unheard of in other cases of delusion." No Trevor hadn't just switched delusions here. He was just playfully fantasying like a Geek running loose at a science fiction convention or a little Kid!"
Dr. Greeley sighed, "You aren't making it easy for me to keep letting you live free!"
The Patient grinned a toothy grin at him, "Maybe a restraining order from a Judge my Lawyer is already prepared to obtain for me with one phone call and the other sanity and competency exam I had done by an independent, forensics Psychiatrist that I paid for out of my own pocket might help?"
Dr. Greeley stared at him in surprise, "You went and had another psychiatric examination on your own?"
The Patient said, "You betcha! Independent of Claire, independent of you, independent of this hospital, independent of anybody who had ever met me before. If I 'd been thought to have liver cancer it would make sense to get a second opinion too, now wouldn't it? I took Champ along for my own protection and to reassure the Doctor if he felt any fear towards me. As an Actor Champ has played many roles. That day he was playing my own personal Orderly so to speak. There isn't that much difference between his day job, being a Bouncer and being an Orderly anyway. There is little difference, (sometimes no difference) between who walks in this place and who walks in across the street! Except all my "Patients" voluntarily take their medication. As it was the Doctor wasn't afraid of me at all and he was perfectly willing to give me a paper labeling me sane and competent to manage my own affairs!"
"Did you tell him you think you are Cupid?"
The Patient nodded, "Oh absolutely! Right up front! It would kind of defeated its purpose as a hedge against me ending up recommitted against my will if I'd been coy about that again wouldn't it? I had to lie to get out of here, lie to poor Claire for a week and then to the hospital board but I knew an independent Shrink who had no economic interests in keeping me confined he could easily see I was no danger to anyone including myself! And the opposite is true too, I would not relish it but if I had to I could defend myself. I've had martial arts training. Lots of it from my...oh never mind! I picked a forensics Psychiatrist by the way. A Doctor who is an expert at ascertaining hidden criminal intent in Psychiatric Patients. He said my thinking I was from Olympus no more makes me unable to manage my own affairs or dangerous to myself and others than his thinking he was from Michigan does so. And he's quite correct about that too sir! Even Claire says my memories are abnormal but my day to day behavior is eccentric only by deliberate choice. I say life's too precious a gift to live like a wallflower! I live! I enjoy! I taste the sweet wine of life down to its bitter drags! I dive in and swim in the deep end! Things could have different you know. When my Mommy seduced my Dad or quite possibly Uncle Mercury the god of speed, (we aren't quite sure who's little squirt I am) a different sperm could easily have won that sperm race. My Parents could have wiggled a bit to the right or left in bed. That could have caused a different Winner and I might not even exist. And before them, all four Grandparents. Each generation has a race between millions of sperm towards millions of eggs! What are the odds any one of us exists? I'm a Winner just because I exist! So are you and you and you." (pointing to Dr. Greeley and a couple of Cockroaches scurrying across the floor). He then gazed at the Doctor, "Kind of have some pests in this room, don't we?"
Dr. Greeley sighed, "Orkan is coming tomorrow."
The Patient effected a look of surprise, "They spray for Psychiatrists too? Oh wow! What's their number? Shrinks keep coming from here across the street to the bar and stomping on them doesn't seem to stem the tide!'
Dr. Greeley couldn't stop himself. He had to laugh!
The Patient continued, "So it doesn't matter that my folks threw me away, or that the inhabitants of two different realms think I'm nuts or that I have hardly a Friend who doesn't either need me to help pay the rent, barkeep for them or wasn't court ordered to monitor me. I'm all alone yes! My family were my gods so even my religion has failed me. But I will sing instead of cry even if I do it off key, dance a jig instead of a funeral march and shout my defiance at the messed up Universe! I still have a little faith the Big Guy did the best He could with the materials provided and didn't really have it out for anyone including me. Do you know anyone who has lost so much as me and picked themselves up literally out of the dirt where my family flung me with so little resources and done so well as I? Do you now? Do you? Supposedly even my mind has betrayed me, stolen my real past from me and yet I persist in being fully ALIVE! Can you even say that about yourself you over judgmental, over medicating, over stuffed piece of work from Freud's worst nightmare?"
Dr. Greeley stared at Trevor. He was a bit surprised and Trevor's language and defiance considering what he could do if he chose. A few moments of silence passed. Finally the Doctor said, "OK. That's enough! You made your point, and then some! You are free to live outside the hospital for three more months or until Claire tells me you need re-confinement or your behavior lands you back in here. Get out, NOW!"
Trevor scurried out the door as if a fire alarm had gone off and he smelled smoke!
Dr. Greeley took a deep breath. The scary thing was the Man was right about everything including his all too accurate opinion about the Men on both sides of his desk!
The rest of his professional day was spent making the rounds of the various psyche wings, examining Patients and adjusting medication. His last Patient of the day had just been brought in. Just as Trevor had been she had to stay in straps until a Psychiatrist could exam her to determine her danger level to herself and others. In Trevor's case it had been clear almost immediately the Man though very delusional and a bit upset at being arrested and taken to a mental institution was not clinically depressed or suicidal in any way and not violent (at least not at that moment) and required no restraining so Doctor Greeley had unfastened him. This one though much more reality oriented was boarder line in that area!
She was Female. Her eyes were red from crying but that could have been from the commitment itself. He had to talk to her a few minutes to determine her usual mental state. He soon figured out it was not good and worse it was not caused any faulty brain chemistry that he could determine at that moment. That they could have fixed!
She came from a wealthy family. She had been the apple of her Parents eye, her Father in particular until several major but hard to diagnose chronic health problems reared their ugly heads. Unfortunately the Father who was very domineering and ruled his family with supposed gentleness but he was really a quiet Tyrant who didn't believe his Daughter or Wife's health problems were real. A few Doctors who probably should have lost their licenses agreed with him. They had labeled her problems psychosomatic, called her a candidate for seeing a Psychiatrist and if then the Psychiatrist she had consulted had been competent that would have been the end of it. He would have backed her up and arranged for her to see different Doctors. But alas there was conflict in religious belief between the Psychiatrist and herself. He was an Atheist. Just the fact she was wearing a cross around her neck and wasn't afraid to proclaim her faith in Christ had earned her a psychiatric label when it should not have. It was very apparent there were times in this Patient's life when faith was all there was that had kept this Patient alive! But that label had followed her from Doctor to Doctor for decades and kept them from taking her seriously until a medical clinic lost her records and what they said about her. After that she finally started to get medical care for a problem she had figured out she had in high school.
By then she was 32, worn out from years of having to cope with life while never feeling well and the proclamations by all those Doctors of her need for psychiatric care had been self fulfilling prophesy. She was severely depressed and discouraged both from fighting years of sleep deprivation caused by the original health problems and from the way her family and others had started treating her after the false psychiatric diagnosis. So she trusted no Therapists or Psychiatrists. She had been threatened with permanent confinement! It looked like it was going to be self fulfilling prophesy!
She had basically been thrown away. Her Parents paid her a stipend to go live elsewhere and not to bother them any more. It was enough money to live off of but left very little to obtain further medical treatment with. And the irony was by then she had a real diagnosis and her Parents could have helped her.
She persisted and finally got the barest beginnings of medical help. But being thrown away by her family and not daring to get married due to poor health had taken its emotional toil. She was now 50, too old to have Kids, worn out, depressed, bitter and with plenty of good reason!
After he negotiated a 'will not harm myself' contract with the Patient which he had her sign he unstrapped her and turned her loose in The C Wing There the Nurses and Orderlies would keep a closer eye on her than they would have in Trevor's old ward, the harmless ward (The B Wing). But she had more freedom than if she were confined to an isolation room in The D Wing. (Disturbed).
As Dr. Greeley rode the train home that night he pondered the various ways a Human mind could fail to find joy at its own existence. Or go out of touch with reality, or wither away from stress damaging hormones, malnutrition and lack of love. And he thought hopefully of the opposite happening' how medication, nutrition, rest, exercise and love could gradually and sometimes seemingly miraculously turn things around. It had been proven through pet scans and the cruel but revealing vivisection of lab Rats that simply interacting with others either in a positive or a negative manner could cause literally biochemical changes in the brain! That was why both therapy and medication worked. The trick was to know which it was a Patient needed or if both were needed. Talk would not make sleep apnea go away or an adrenal fatigue problem or hypothyroidism, or rid the body of toxic levels of heavy metals and other endocrine disrupting chemicals! But medication and other medical care could only do so much to heal a broken soul and it could not teach better coming methods or better social skills, or educate Friends and Families about the physical reality of brain illnesses and learning disabilities that caused Patients to be misunderstood and abused! Was any Patient's problem hardware or software related? Most of the time it was both!
He wrote into his new Patient's chart a medical order for a full medical workup with concentration on all 40 plus medical conditions that could cause severe depression. It seemed that though this Patient had been trying as hard as she could to get help for her body in the past, her poor social skills and lack of self esteem was short circuiting Doctors even bothering to look for physical causes for her low moods and much more needed to be done in that area that hadn't yet been done. Things that would have been done in prettier Patients and more socially skilled Ladies with better social connections decades sooner! No one had ever actually looked, "Under the hood." They just all assumed all she needed was a few good professional talkings too and kept recommending that before running any tests, and she would leave their office furious without going through with that expensive and from her point of view, humiliating process. Specialist after Specialist after Specialist had tried to do the Psychiatrist's job instead of their own job! So she would leave in a huff! But not before leaving a huge chunk of her rapidly dwindling trust fund with the Receptionists on the way out! It would have dawned on a more socially astute Individual not to pay them. She had needed many medical tests ran many, many years ago! But she also needed emotional support even if it wasn't obvious to her. But under such circumstances who could blame her for trusting no professional Therapist or Psychiatrist? How could there ever be a therapeutic bond between her and one of his kind?
Dr Greeley sat at his desk and scratched his head. She did need to talk to and be guided back to enjoying life again by someone! Since it was doubtful she could ever trust a professional, peer counseling was a strong possibility. But who did he know who could help her?
There was only one laymen Dr. Greeley knew who claimed rightly or wrongly that his folks had also 'thrown him away' and that Person was....
No! The idea was itself crazy! You don't send a Psychotic Patient to help a merely Neurotic Patient! You just don't!
But the idea kept haunting him the rest of the week.
He sat in his office thinking about her when he should have been reading reports. His mind and his eyes wandered out the window. There across the street the Taggarty's marquee read, "Cupid needs another gig! Inquire within!" The Doctor sighed. Mrs Taggarty had started letting her crazy Barkeep use the bar sign to advertise when 'Cupid' was needing someone to find a match up for. It didn't even happen very often because word of mouth was bringing the "love god" tons of "business." But apparently now was one of those rare times!
He looked from the bar across the street to a little sign his Granddaughter had made for him at day camp. It said. "a coincidence is when God works a miracle and doesn't sign His name." He smiled. She
was determined follow in her Grandfather's footsteps and she would be a much better Shrink than he ever had! He had always longed for faith and never been able to achieve it. (Having 'Crazy Trevor' as a Patient hadn't helped). But to his Granddaughter faith in God was like breathing. She did it effortlessly. That would help her future Patients so much! As Jung had pointed out 90 percent of neurosis was due to lack of establishing a firm religious viewpoint. Moderns might chose to substitute the term "spiritual" for "religious" since the term religion is often getting bad PR in contemporary times, but the fact remained Jung was at least partially correct about this. Maybe not 90 percent since it was now known many mental illnesses were biological. (As Jesus Himself had said the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.) But a lot of it was indeed due to lack of faith in SOMETHNG.
His new Patient for instance needed faith that life itself was worth living despite the imperfection of it. She needed faith that God wasn't out to get her and that just being alive was an incredibly rare gift to be cherished and experienced to its fullest possibilities despite all its pain and sorrow!
Oh dear! Whose philosophy did that sound like?
It was Two o:clock in the morning right before Trevor was set to go home. The "Mad Barkeep," or "Crazy Trevor" as many of the Customers affectionately called him was scurrying around along with the help of Champ and his Boss lady, cleaning up before they put the bar to bed for the night. Dr. Greeley chose that hour deliberately because Trevor would just be getting off from work. He had read many of Claire's reports though he had to secretly agree with Trevor. There was many a week they were a great insomnia cure! How someone who thought he was a god could live such a mundane life was amazing. When he wasn't matching couples Trevor would have made a great Librarian!
Trevor gets a Surprise Visitor
The Mental Patient stared in surprise when the "over-pill pushing" Doctor walked into "his" bar. His eyes got even wider when he found out what Dr. Greeley wanted him to do. "You want ME to go peer-counsel another Patient? Me? Hello? According to you I'm a 'Psychotic with megalomaniac delusions of god-hood whose capacity for violence is latent but not completely repressed.' Remember? I think that's an exact quote! Linda you still need my help?"
Linda shook her head, "No Love you go talk to the 'nice Doctor.' I am quite sure he can 'help' you!" Trevor could tell she was being sarcastic and doing it from his point of view.
Dr Greeley sighed, "That was an exact quote, Trevor but I'm desperate! She has what you have. No. Not belief she's a god but she feels her family "threw her away." Except in her case there is no doubt about it! They don't live on Olympus. They live right here in Chicago and haven't seen their Daughter in twenty years and do not want to see her!"
Trevor cocked his head cheerfully. "You want me to go talk to the family?"
Dr. Greeley shuttered, "No! Absolutely do not do that! That would make it much worse! They'd know their Daughter was really crazy or in their case and I am quoting their beliefs here (not approving of them) being 'immoral enough to develop a mental disorder,' if someone who was insistent he was Cupid went to see them concerning re-consolation with their Daughter! Let Claire handle that part! Or me. No I want you to talk to the Lady herself. Her family threw her away and she's coping miserably. Your family allegedly threw you away and you are coping extremely well with that."
Trevor laughed, "I keep being told my coping method is psychotic! I don't feel psychotic mind you. I feel fine! But that's what all these Mental Health "Experts" keep telling me."
Dr. Greeley shook his head, "You feel fine because your problem is not biological. Claire is probably right about that. Your memories feel perfectly normal to you. They aren't. They are false. But its their content not their physical form that is the problem. No. Your delusion itself makes you think your family on Mount Olympus threw you away and so real or unreal you have cause for having the same kind of depression this Lady has. But you don't have any depression and that's the amazing thing! And how you cope with your perceived rejection is what I want you to teach her. Rather in your case it is real, or not, that doesn't matter in this particular situation. It is how you cope with it. That is what I want you to teach her."
Trevor said, "I hate to admit it but my association with Claire is why I don't have depression. It was preventative. I never developed any in the first place because she started counseling me and giving me emotional support before it had a chance to occur."
Dr. Greeley nodded, "Excellent! That is exactly the kind of thing I want you to tell her! Teach this Lady that it is OK to open up to a Therapist. She was taught from some religious abuse that it is the epidemy of moral degradation to make use of a Professional Mind Healer. She had it reinforced over and over again that we are "verbal Prostitutes" and anyone with any morals to them at all wouldn't be caught dead in a Therapist's office unless dragged there, which the Police literally had to do. The Police dragged her off a bridge and then dragged her to Lakeview and the Orderlies almost had to drag her into my office from C Wing. They only reason they didn't have to drag her was she was intelligent enough to realize she WOULD end up in my office rather she walked in or they dragged her! She'll trust someone like you more. After all you aren't being paid so you aren't a 'verbal Prostitute."
Trevor grinned, "I'm not any kind of a Prostitute though the Cops thinking I was one was what got me involved with your Kind in the first place! When I explained I wasn't, that I was in fact Cupid and that gave me a perfect right to match up Folks PERMNENLY not for fornication or adultery, they seemed to think that more harmful to society than what the Pimp who attacked me was doing! The Pimp got 30 days in the hoosegow for attacking me and that was the end of it for him. I have martial art training from my Dad and could have killed him but I just turtled up to protect my vitals, didn't hit him back and I got 90 days in here plus years of close monitoring and blood tests each month to make sure I'm not using illegal drugs, a problem I've NEVER had!" He sighed, "At least Claire Bear is pretty!"
Dr. Greeley nodded, a hint of a smile on his face. "So of course you will help her."
Trevor smiled bitterly, "That wasn't even a question or a plea. It was a statement."
Dr. Greeley smiled, "I just want you to talk to her and convince her of the merits of staying alive and to accept therapy and to cheer her up. I am convinced that though you are out of touch with reality in some areas you definitely can do this. You'll be great at it, much better than 'grumpy old Greeley.'
Trevor stared at the uptight Psychiatrist in surprise that he knew the love god had called him that!
The Doctor was the one giving his difficult Patient a toothy grin for once!
Dr Greeley continued, "Of course if during this cheering up process it becomes apparent she might be interested in finding her 'True Love,' or you persuade her that would be in her best interests, I have no one to blame but myself for thinking of this 'crazy idea' of using a very psychotic Patient who thinks he's Cupid and has to match up Folks to council a merely severely neurotic one if you give in to your delusions and try to find her someone, now can I?" Dr Greeley grinned again. It was a rare expression for him but it looked good on him!
Trevor started laughing. "For a pompous hind end of a Donkey you sure know how to push my buttons!"
Dr. Greeley playfully reached over and touched Trevor's forehead. "Click!"
Trevor equally playfully commented in a monotone voice, "That computes! Must talk to fellow Patient! Must match her up! Must function at full parameters!" He got up and moved like a stiff robot towards the door.
Dr Greeley said, "You will need access to the C Wing."
Still in a monotone voice and still walking like a robot Trevor said, "Still have slide card from time helping Don Quixote. Still in wallet. Still know how to slide it. Access to required Target's location still possible! But current temporal location is not proper due to somnolent period hard wired into target Biological Unit. Behavior analysis indicates wisdom of waiting for current Planet's rotation to reach period of maximum solar units hitting surface before desired jurisprixon of Biological Units occurs! " He walked out the door that way.
Dr Greeley laughed and glanced at the ceiling. Surely some heavenly beings were looking down and laughing too! Though rather they lived on Mount Olympus or the Heaven his Granddaughter so easily believed in remained to be determined!
Life in the Bland White World of C Wing
All the world was dull and gray and her stomach felt as if it were full of lead and there was no reason not to long to be made compost! Compost was useful! Flowers could grow from compost and they were beautiful and fresh and strong and wanted! She wasn't wanted and the matter that made up her body would be of more use to the Universe feeding other lives!
It would take some doing to arrange a funeral without a box and without embalming but if she could just be allowed to go back to the soil all-organic-naturally her bitter life would not have been completely a waste. Maybe she could walk out into a desert, find some spot that desperately needed nourishment and fast until she became one with the soil or some hungry, deserving Animal ate her: Some Animal strong and healthy and deserving of the life she was too weak and unfit to deserve!
If she could just figure out how to get out of Lakeview! It hadn't been very wise trying to jump off a bridge at high noon right in downtown Chicago! Too many watching eyes! If she could make it to the Arizona or New Mexico dessert no one would even see her if she stayed in the same spot wasting away for months!
And the dessert needed nourishment far more than the river did!
"Hello." a cheerful voice said.
She looked up.
He wasn't a Patient. He was dressed in a suit.
He wasn't a Doctor either for the same reason. None of the Doctors wore anything but white and none of the Patients wore anything but white. The place was so white the KKK could have used it as a meeting house!
"Who are you?" She asked politely, having no real interest but not wanting to be rude.
"I'm Cupid, the Greco-Roman god of love." He chirped. "But to keep myself out of trouble I also go by the name, Trevor Hale."
She stared at him, "How come they let you wear your street clothes? They took mine away from me. They take every-bodies street clothes away from them, even the Staff's apparently!"
The Man laughed, "You can say that again! Doesn't the little dinky dos look good on you though, Sister! They didn't do a thing for me but I think you actually look good in them!"
"So you've been here but you aren't now?'
Trevor laughed, "I AM here now."
"But not as an Inpatient?"
"I'm not an Inpatient now. I was. I'm an Outpatient now and doing very well with a little counseling and supervision and from my own gumption and upbeat philosophy." He smiled, "They let me loose! If they will let me loose there's hope for anyone!"
She sighed and shook her head staring at the floor, "Not me, Cupid. There is no hope for me. My family doesn't want me so why should I even bother to live?"
Cupid said, "My family doesn't want me either. They cast me down from the very top of Mount Olympus! They ripped my wings right out of their sockets and sent me hurling down, down, down into the dirt right there by the river! I hit the ground so hard I almost sunk into it like a crater and I was knocked out for I don't know how long from the impact and that impact rattled my brains and I haven't been the same since! I lost my omnipresence and my powers and quite a few of my thousands of years of memories. I remember enough though!"
She looked at him sympathetically, "I admit it. Your problems are worse than mine!"
Cupid smiled, "But I picked myself right up off that riverbank and hitched up my britches and found a Mortal to take me into town and started uniting couples. Then the Police got a hold of me and brought me here and I found myself in the clutches of a beautiful Lady Shrink and she hasn't let me loose professionally yet. She never will. She isn't even legally allowed to let me loose. We will be psychiatrically joined at the hip until one of us dies a Mortal death! Oh I could just leave the general area. They don't have an ankle monitor on me though I know some of the Shrinks here considered it and I wouldn't even mind! My folks were omnipresent. They always knew where I was so I'm used to that sort of thing. But I don't need an ankle monitor. I am chained here by my honor and by my love for my Therapist, Claire Bear. Because if I left she'd be the one they'd blame and I would never do that to her! That's what you need, Kid, a Claire Bear. Maybe my Claire Bear will be your Claire Bear. I think she could probably work you in. She only sees me on Mondays mornings, Monday nights. Tuesday mornings, Tuesday nights, Wednesday mornings, Thursday mornings, Friday Mornings, Friday nights, Saturday mornings, and Sunday she goes to church or says she does. I think she is just escaping but I can't prove it. Maybe I could free up Tuesday morning for you!
Martha was amazed at the number of times this Man was seen professionally each week! "How does she do it?"
"I am counting the fact I walk her to work every day and also back from her work on Mondays which is my day off. It's a good half hour counting the elevator ride up to her office so that let's me have a great session with her almost every day. On Tuesdays and Friday nights I attend her singles group and then also Monday evenings which is my day off she counsels me individually in her office like a real, genuine Mental Patient!" Trevor smiled proudly at this.
He continued, " Oh! She also comes into the bar sometimes at lunch time but I'm pretty busy then. It's hard to counsel a Patient who is having to run around like a Chicken with his head cut off mixing drinks and getting them to Customers! But you know she could kill three Dinosaurs with one asteroid concerning her lunch time visits to my bar. She only monitors me then and writes up her little weekly report the hospital board requires her to write about me. She hates it and I hate it but we are in a conspiracy together to bore the heck out of them! Who knows? Maybe together we can get Dr Greeley to drop dead from the monotony! So those reports go like,'Caught Trevor tending bar again just like he's supposed to. Trevor just found time to go to restroom. Trevor just came out of the restroom and his pants were zipped, his hair was combed and his hands were washed. Trevor just served two Customers a beer and a wine chaser. Trevor just stuck his tongue out at me and then laughed. Trevor just brought me my Chicken sandwich with two slices of rye bread and a side of potato chips and baked beans but he forgot my pickle again.' (Actually I always eat the pickle). 'Trevor just took some empty bottles out back to the recycling bin. Trevor just served three Customers a Margarita, a straight Tequila and a Mexican Sunrise with two lemon slices.' Then the Customer said she wanted another Lemon slice so Trevor got her a third one. ' She doesn't talk to me at lunch time much except to ask my opinion on how to make those reports even more boring and I give her some very good pointers! During that time she could monitor me, write those reports, eat lunch and counsel you too!"
He grinned, "Maybe you could even help her write the reports. She's pretty much ran out of inspiration on how to make them even more boring and needs fresh boring suggestions!"
Martha started giggling. "I don't know if they will let me out of here Trevor!"
He asked her, "Are you in for a 90 day observation period?"
She shook her head, "No. Only a 72 hour."
Trevor nodded knowingly. "It's the budget cuts. Used to be a good suicide attempt guaranteed one a 90 day stay. Now days they'd probably even have let me loose after 72 hours without any required supervision if I'd just promised to not try to unite Couples in the red light district again!"
She stared at him and frowned. "How do you know I'm in here on a suicide attempt?"
Whoops! Of course he wasn't supposed to know that! She wasn't supposed to know it was Dr. Greeley who had asked him to see her! He thought quickly, "You look like a Suicide Attempter, Kid!" (It was true too). "Remember I was here in the bad old days when they gave you 90 not 3, and I saw it all. So I can diagnose as well as the Guys and Gals can with the big papers in the frames on the walls!"
She nodded. "I even look sad."
He grinned. "You did. I had you cheered up for a few moments. Say after they let you out let's go to my side of this street and talk about things. He pointed out the window. That's my bar over there. "I can help you a darn sight more than these stuffed shirts here can and I'd love to do it. My usual gig is helping People fall in love. That's what I do. As I said. I'm Cupid. But helping someone fall in love with Life itself again ought to be worth a bead too, don't you think?"
"I use pool marker beads to keep track of my match ups. I have to have a hundred Couples matched up in eternal, true love before my family will let me go back home to Mount Olympus."
She looked at him sadly, "Oh Trevor that is so sad! What is going to happen when you do get one hundred Couples matched and you don't go anywhere at all?"
He grinned, "Oh Kid I will go somewhere! If not Olympus, Disney world. Claire had the bar start a bank account for me and donations are accepted. She doesn't want me trying to do what you tried if her theory is true and I turn out to be just nuts and don't get a chariot ride back when I get my hundred matches. She knows if I really ever did try to bump myself off I would succeed. I am anything but incompetent. What I try to do I never fail at. So she keeps talking about Disney World, playing it up real big, reminding me of how nice it will be. I'm half tempted when the time comes to delay my leaving for a week and pretend I didn't have my invite back. My folks would let me do that I am sure!" He grinned his dark eyes glinting with mischief, "I'll look real dejected and confused and repentant that I had been such a fool! I will allow Claire and Jackelyn and Champ to drag me off to meet The Mouse while I am sure they'll keep the closest eye on me they EVER have and I'll sort of half heartedly cooperate while they try to 'cheer me up' and convince me that being a Mortal isn't such a bad thing after all. Inside of me I'll really be just a giggling! Then I'll come back and enjoy the look on everyone's faces when that chariot does come for me!"
He added, "But maybe I won't get in it! Maybe I'll stay right here with my Mortal friends until I die and go back to Olympus then. I just want my Therapist and Friends to see it, to know I'm really me and not really crazy. That is all I want because Kid all the fun is right here! Olympus was boring! I say if someone or someones doesn't want you, if the world turns their back on you do what Timon and Pumbaa did in Lion king: turn your back on them and Hakuna Matata! Like Bond, James Bond, find a Quantum of Solace in exquisite beauty because this Planet is ever so beautiful! And it's so big when you walk around on it even if it does seem like a little blue dust speck from Space. You can never explore it all and if you can't do it in real life, google it! I've seen it from both viewpoints now. So have most of you Mortals now, thanks to early Space Exploration. There is plenty to do here, plenty of fun, plenty of cute Animals and Flowers and books to read and movies and TV shows to watch and pretty Folks to fall in love with and even if no one will have you, you can make your own internal Universe a rich and entertaining place. You don't have to mope just because everybody expects you to! Do the crazy, unexpected thing instead. Don't mope! Instead rejoice at absolutely nothing! Like the Mad Queen in Alice and Wonderland celebrate Unbirthdays and uncelebrations of all sorts! And there is plenty of mischief to get into! I don't even need my bow and arrows any more to cause a stir!" He laughed. "If you want to see what I mean just put soap powder in any down town fountain or grab the mic at your local grocery store and announce, 'spare ribs are two for a penny!' Watch what happens!"
Martha started laughing again. "I think they are right to have a Shrink keep a close eye on you, Trevor!"
He nodded ruefully, "Just talking to me a few minutes gives you that idea? Sometimes I think everyone must be right about me because how come independently of each other Folks in both realms keep deciding I'm nuts!" He sighed, "I say 'I'm colorful not crazy' and 'that I am fun!' That's what you need Kid, Fun! So how about it?"
She nodded, "I say let's go for it, but no soap powder in the fountains and no lying to grocery stores Customers. We will have fun in legal and socially responsible ways!
Trevor laughed, "Who's helping whom here?" The "Mad Barkeep's" watch beeped. Trevor said, "That's my ten minute warning to get across the street and start my work day. See you in, what? When do they release you?"
She said, "I was so depressed I didn't even keep track. I'll find out and call you at your bar, or just walk across the street when they release me."
He nodded and grinned and put his thumbs up.
There was a spring to this step and a big grin on his face as Trevor walked into the bar. He nodded to Champ and told him, "You can change the marque now. I have my next gig."
Champ frowned, "I just changed it yesterday!"
Several Customers and Linda overheard. They started clapping.
Even Champ started to grin but he shook his head ruefully and looked Heavenward in the "Heaven help us!' look so many did when they caught Trevor being Trevor.
That attracted divine attention. So up on that craggy mountain in Thessaly Greece red haired, lanky and long Uncle Mercury cast a quick look at his Kid, saw despite Champ's little pessimistic prayer things were really going fine, and smiled, pleased as punch!
Learn to Use Your Loony License!
Martha Shumway stared at her Teacher. He had folded the funnies part of a newspaper into a paper hat and made one for her too. He was insisting she wear it. "Dress code." He had explained to her without a hint of a smile.
"First off understand now that you've been under the care of a Mental Health Worker you now have a loony license. Learn to use your loony license, you will like it!" He grinned, "Pretty good alliteration there don't you think?"
She grinned. Trevor's over the top mood was contagious. "What's a loony license?"
The supposedly crazy Barkeep explained, "It's the license the Universe issues you when you are declared any kind of nuts. It gives you certain privileges that Normals do not have, just as having a medical license gives Doctors privileges Normals do not have. Actually neither Doctors nor Patients are Normals! Doctors have the power to Baker Act you, to lock you up, to order needles full of drugs injected into you, to strap you down, and even to order electricity shot through your skull though Claire keeps trying to reassure me that actually does help some Patients. Apparently the brain and the nervous system do blow a few circuits but the brain also thinks it's an electro-orgasm and cheers up almost immediately. And ECT also causes new brain cells to grow which is actually responsible for some of the memory loss amazingly, but hopefully happier brain cells grow. Anyway Doctors have those powers but we Crazies are granted powers of our own once we are officially declared nuts and learning to use those powers can put the sacred sweetness back in life again!"
What kind of powers, 'Cupid?'" Martha asked somewhat amused, neither believing nor disbelieving."
Trevor grinned and lifted a finger trying to look inscutable but not really succeeding, "Ah, Grasshopper listen verrry closely! The power to defy conventional behavior as long as you don't hurt anybody or cause property damage. For instance Grownups aren't supposed to skip to work. They are supposed to walk to work like this." Trevor put a big frown on his face and pretended to hold on to a brief case and check his watch and walk like a tired and proper Executive headed for a day at the office. "But because we have a loony license we are allowed to come back and forth to work like this! Trevor suddenly started skipping around the bar. "Or even this if we prefer." He switched to doing the type of walk that would have required a trip to the ministry of such walks if he'd lived in Britain. "Now you practice this with me. Walk like a proper possessor of a loony license. Show me you have it in you, Kid!"
Giggling Martha started hesitantly doing her own silly walk.
Cupid applauded, "Bravo! And not bad! It's a little stiff but it's definitely getting there!
"OK lesson number two. It is important to eat right. Nutrition is very important. The brain can literally partially die on junk food. But only Normals are legally required to eat cereal, and bacon and eggs for breakfast. A proud possessor of a loony license can have chili for breakfast if they wish or pizza or sushi or just about anything they want. A hot dog with all the fixings except sour kraut makes a tasty, nutritious, delicious breakfast with a third of your days calorie intake and almost enough nutrients considering it's part of the standard American Diet In fact in all seriousness cereal and bacon are not as nutritious!"
Martha asked, "Why isn't sauerkraut allowed? It's very nutritious and good for you too."
Trevor said with complete seriousness. "Because I hate it! But if sauerkraut floats your boat we can add a clause to your loony license that allows you to have it!"
Martha smiled and nodded.
"Lesson number three. Grass is made for rolling in. Yes! Right in public! Your being Female does put a crimp on this but that's what bathing suit tops were designed for, (that and for swimming). You wear as little as you feel safe wearing and roll in newly cut grass any time you want to, in public or out of public and never mind the grass stains. Clothes are cheap at thrift shops and they need the business! If anyone asks what you are doing, you don't speak English and then what are they going to do? Unless there is a 'do not walk on the grass' sign up you've done nothing illegal, not even immoral. I have read every holy book there is cover to cover and there isn't a passage in a single one of them that says you can't roll in grass. We gods actually like that sort of behavior because it shows you are enjoying the gift of life you were given.
"Lesson number 4. Singing. For us it's not just for showers. If you have a loony license you can sing any time you want to, to cheer yourself up or to assert your right to be a proud, card carrying Loony. The constitution of the United States also guarantees freedom of speech, so if you feel like singing at the top of your lungs in the subway do so unless you actually see People really cringing. That does happen. I had an Autistic once on a ride with me who was noise sensitive and I realized I was really bothering her so I stopped. I wouldn't have done that for the usual Complainers. I wouldn't' have stopped for any of the mere Sourpusses!
"Lesson number 5. Dancing. Dance all you want anywhere you want that it isn't a safety issue. Let's dance now."
"We don't have any music."
"Refer to lesson 4. Trevor started singing 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' and doing a really bad polka, made worse by the fact the music didn't go with the dance he was doing.
Martha giggled and said, "I guess you also don't need to be doing the same kind of dance as your Partner if they both have a loony license?
Trevor nodded, "Now you are getting the idea!"
She started doing a jitter bug and Trevor switched to that. So that is what they were both doing when Claire walked in the door. She didn't even feel surprised. She had gotten amazingly used to Trevor! But she thought there is no way I can make the next report boring. But at least it shows his considerable ability to reach out and form interpersonal relationships!
Dr Greeley Proves His Worth
When Dr. Greeley read her report that week his eyes widened and then he smiled. Trevor was doing what he'd been asked to do and it was an amazing change in the Patient! A week ago she had been a candidate for Electroconvulsive Therapy and now Trevor had her dancing in public!
Why couldn't they all have a touch of whatever it was that had made Trevor crazy?
Meanwhile he was doing his part: Valuing his medical training not just his ability to talk Dr Greeley was as interested in her body as her soul! Just as he had with Trevor he suspected a physical cause of much of her difficulties. He had been wrong about Trevor supposedly (though apparently studies showed Dissociative Identity Disorder did tend to run in families indicating at least some biological basis for it). But his mistake if any with Trevor didn't mean the next Patient or the next one after that had a software bug not a hardware bug!
Martha Shumway's medical tests started trickling back from the various labs. As he read report after report some of his language got quite colorful in a way that would have surprised Trevor, Claire and his little Granddaughter! Only his Wife and his Secretary would not have been surprised. And God. But sometimes language like that when said in sympathetic anger at a horrible injustice towards a Wronged Innocent makes a more holy prayer and is better received by the Heavenly Father than more flowery hypocritical, repetitious, proper sounding CRAP!
On and on and on Martha's tortures went! All of them were treatable! Or had been. All of them could easily have been diagnosed decades sooner. None of them had been. On the forest of papers were the records and the silent testimony of a tragic life that could have been experienced much differently if those who were supposed to listen and do their jobs, simply had!
Subclinical Addition's disease Commonly known as Adrenal Fatigue. Subclinical maybe, but poor Girl! it was enough to cause her exhaustion and depression!
She actually had almost a dozen different hormones she was deficient in. And her body temperature was so low most People would have been comatose! How was she even walking around?
High levels of cadmium!
High levels of mercury!
High levels of lead!
High levels of Aluminum!
Low levels of the liver enzyme, glutathione. That genetic defect would have caused the above heavy metals. Her liver could not process them out. And those heavy metals would have been what disrupted her entire endocrine system.
Including the hormone oxytocin which left her unable to read and respond to facial expressions. That explained her poor social skills. She basically had artificially induced mild Autism which explained her poor self esteem and why seldom anyone believed her about how she felt and both of those explained why Doctors would not take her seriously and bother to run any tests. It was a vicious circle. Lack of Oxytocin is also known as the nurturing hormone, kept her feeling alienated from Humanity making forming a therapeutic bond with a Therapist almost impossible! How ironic or how fitting that the Peer counseling he had arranged for her was being done by a man who was convinced he was love incarnate! The fact he was such an interesting character was a blessing. That was holding her interest and keeping her in the relationship. Or else she probably would have broken it off just as she had with many more prosaic Individuals in the past. Chemistry could not have held her interest. She was not very biochemically capable of chemistry! Only intellect could hold her in a relationship. But Trevor's IQ was off the charts. Love god or not, it was Trevor's smarts that were keeping them together!
High uric acid levels. Why hadn't she complained of severely aching joints? This was gout!
And the last one was the most heart breaking!
Severely metastasized cancer! It would have be highly treatable if it had been caught much sooner but by now there was little they could do other than to ease her pain a bit!
Any one of these could have caused her depression for biological reasons alone!
Dr Greeley bit his lip and gazed at the ceiling. It was high time to arrange a reconciliation with Martha's Parents! Maybe they should get to be the ones to tell their Daughter she was dieing of cancer and she had also been right about her poor physical health all along! That remained to be seen! But he would talk to them first to determine that. He grasped the evidence of Martha's tragic vindication in his right fist, which was clenched in anger and picked up his phone receiver with his left hand. This was one Parent conference he was NOT going to enjoy! But it would give him bitter satisfaction!
How to Die Of Old Age
But Still Earn A Darwin Award
Dr Greeley drove up the long, straight, tree lined private road to Shumway Estates. The fertilizer magnate had done very well for himself. There was money in waste apparently as well as the power to make plants green and beautiful. The place looked like a North American Eden with Oaks and Popular and Birch. The Bermuda grass was emerald green and all the Bushes were healthy looking. There was not one yellow leaf. There were copious Flower beds as far as the eye could see and as he drove up to the enormous, white Columned house it looked like something out of a movie set. He expected Scarlet O'Hara to come floating out in a long frilly dress!
He frowned. Wow! The stipend they gave to Martha to live off of: It was pitiful! They obviously spent more to water all this in the summer months than the were giving out to their Daughter all year! How could someone care more about Grass and Flowers than their own Child?
Dr Greeley pulled in front of a splashing fountain with ironically a marble, winged Cupid grasping a vase and wasn't even surprised when a Valet came to park his car! The man said, "You called ahead so you have been expected. The door in is right there."
Dr Greeley went up to the door and started to knock. It swung open before he could. No doubt there was a camera and he was being monitored.
It was a Butler who had answered the door! A real genuine, in the flesh, Butler! And yes, he did say, "Walk this way," in a very deep voice. But no he didn't walk like with a bad limp and he wasn't a Hunchback.
Dr Greeley followed behind the Man taking it all in. It would he something to tell his Granddaughter about. A visit to a real mansion complete with an escorting Butler!
The Butler brought them to a study with wooden panels and copious leather bound books. Dr Greeley was impressed with such intellectualism. Until he looked closer and realized that most of the books were actually comic books! But yes they were leather bound. Then they only thing that impressed him was that they had been leather bound. Someone had taken the trouble to go and do that to them special, and loved the comic books enough to keep them safe and organized long enough to have them around long enough to do that to them.
The Man in the study didn't look like a Multibillionaire. But then what was a Multibillionaire supposed to look like anyway? He was actually shorter than Dr Greeley and while he wasn't as fat he did have a little paunch. He had on a simple pair of slacks and a light blue shirt that could have been purchased at Wal-mart. He was busy with a golf club trying to hit a golf ball into a drinking glass. He didn't look up and make eye contact when Dr Greeley entered the room. Like Father like Daughter? Was he Autistic too? If so the golf game was a good way to hide his need to avoid eye contact. Older Autists learned those tricks, sometimes with help, sometimes on their own. Even the ones that didn't learn it on their own could be taught. With the proper training if she had realized what she was Martha could have been taught that sort of thing too and done much better socially and thus had more self esteem and more success in many many areas.
Mr Todd Shumway said, "I understand you want to talk to me about my Daughter's health. I understand you are a Psychiatrist. Excellent! I have been saying for years she needs to be taking something to calm her down and get her over her delusions that she is sick. All her troubles are all in her head. Thank you! How much do I owe you? And will she need long term confinement?"
Dr Greeley was shocked! Most of the time he had the opposite problem. Trying to convince a Parent their Child needed psychiatric care, and here this one was ready to medicate her Daughter and if necessary lock her away for however long it took!
At least it looked like they would be paid for her stay! He shook his head, "No Sir. I am afraid you misunderstood. I am here to talk to you mostly about your Daughter's physical health. She is depressed yes. But that's understandable. It is exogenous depression mostly. Depression that is reality oriented. Depression that is being caused by the very real circumstances of her life. But she has half a dozen very real physical health problems including mild Autism and heavy metal poisoning which has disrupted most of her endocrine system. Anyone of those very real physical health problems could have brought on depression too and if nothing else it would have made her feel exhausted and punk every day of her life. Not to mention I happen to know she is in a great deal of pain from gout and something else. Most of this is treatable, or would have been decades ago if she'd had a proper diagnoses and care." Dr Greeley decided not to mention the terminal cancer just yet.
Todd Shumway looked at Dr. Greeley as if he had grown two heads. Finally he said, "My Daughter has always been a hypochondriac."
Dr Greeley shook his head, "I doubt your Daughter felt good a single day of her entire life!"
Todd said, "Poppy cock! She was an idiot! She had all these advantages we could have given her if she would have just quit pretending to be sick! I refused to play that game with her and because she wouldn't quit playing it I just about disowned her. I had no choice! I did give her some money to live off of yes, but darned if I was going to make her live high on the Hog just so she could whine she was sick when she is as big boned and fat as a Hippo!"
Dr Greeley said, "Big bones and body fat don't necessarily make one healthy! You fertilized all your beautiful gardens with your own product didn't you? It's a sludge fertilizer?"
Todd Shumway nodded calmly and shrugged unable to see where this was going.
Dr Greeley recited, "A recent EPA study of 84 sludge samples from around the country found they contained heavy metals, steroids, industrial chemicals, disinfectants, antiseptics, flame retardants, PCBs pesticides, dioxins, petroleum products, industrial solvents, radioactive waste, asbestos. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, bacteria including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses!"
Then he added, "And like all little Girls and Boys she played in the dirt, didn't she? Made mudpies, even ate them? Dug holes? Came in once in a while covered in the stuff? And did you ever grow your own vegetables with your own fertilizer, Mr Shumway? Home grown veggies Don't they just taste sooo good!"
Todd nodded to all of this. His eyes widened. For the first time he was making the connection!
Dr Greeley growled. " Todd Shumway you poisoned own Daughter and then when she got slowly got sicker and sicker and could no longer hide it you threw her away and you broke her heart! Then you looked down on her for her becoming depressed! You should have listened to her, got her to however many Doctors it took until they found the problem and solved it because unlike some of my Patient's Parents you DID have the money. You could have helped your only Daughter but you didn't. You put your smug theory ahead of her feelings! For all practical purposes you threw your own Daughter away!"
The Father stared at him, shocked!
Dr Greeley frowned and drove in his point. "Sometimes it isn't always psychiatric and all in the Patient's head. Sometimes as Jesus taught, 'the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak' and we 'cold, over-scientific, pill pushing Psychiatrists,' not the warm hearted Therapists are the ones who do Folks the most good! You twenty four caret idiots won your Darwin's award because you will never have Grand Kids due to neglecting your Daughter's physical health! I can say this because I am not your Therapist! I don't have any legal or ethical obligation to make you feel any better! Instead I can make you feel just how you deserve to feel and doing so is is making ME feel ever so much better ! You are Idiots! Idiots! Idiots! I would actually like to use harsher language but I won't! I'm too much of a Gentlemen!"
The Man tried to defend himself "But she believed she was sick and that made her sick! She spent most of the trust fund we gave her on Doctors. That is why we wouldn't give her any more!"
Dr. Greeley said bitterly. "No! You and a lot of other People believed she was mentally ill, treated her with scorn and that made her mentally ill!"
The look on the Man's face would have been priceless if it had been about something funny, which it wasn't.
Dr Greeley turned the screw some more. "She wasn't mentally ill at first. Just very intelligent and very creative. And the heavy metal poisoning caused a social learning disability. She could not read or respond to facial expressions due to lack of the neurohormone oxytocin so she comes across as weird. Which made it even harder to get medical care because Doctors just would NOT take her seriously! But there was the potential to be a Genius there. But Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. And perspiration takes work! But her poor physical health which was not attended to never has never allowed her to work. We will never know what the world could have had thanks to you never getting down off your psychiatric high horse! You don't even have any degrees to be practicing psychoanalysis! But you tried to do so anyway! And you put your smug belief you understood a theory you were never trained in over loving your Daughter and getting her help!! So it's cost you Grand-kids! It cost you everything Biological Life is put on this Planet to do! You are a link in a chain billions of years long and it comes to a screeching halt with you! It will go no further because you couldn't use those big Homo Sapien brains of yours to pick up a few books or even a few magazine articles and learn even one thousand words about recent breakthroughs in the brain and how the body controls it. You quit learning back in the late sixties when Freud was already starting to go into his philosophical coffin with stake of reality pounded into his chest by the Vampire Hunters of biological brain medicine! I hope you are ashamed! Mother Rattle Snakes literally take better care of their Progeny than you did! Because now she's dying!
"Dying!?" Todd exclaimed.
Dr Greeley said, "Yes DYING! Cadmium which is in your sludge fertilizer is a carcinogen. I can't be sure that is what caused it, but it is the most likely suspect. She hasn't long to live either. And you aren't welcome at her death bed. You refused to be there for her in her life so you don't get to be there when she dies! People who love her are going to be there for her instead!" Dr Greeley had made that decision himself but he was determined to convince Martha to agree with it!
(And she did).
Dr Greeley turned and left with the distressed Butler chasing after him trying to escort him from behind so to speak. He was moving too fast for the exit to be escorted! His face was red with fury and his fist was clenched again! They were beyond hopeless! He would tell Martha about her cancer himself! He gritted his teeth in anger and tried to calm down, using relaxation and forgiveness techniques on himself, trying to figure how how they possibly could have the mindset they had! Maybe they were too incompetent socially themselves for the same reasons their Daughter was, but older and of a less enlightened era which heightened their intolerance to those with illnesses. Maybe as he had indeed suspected they too were Autistic but even more mind blind than their Daughter due to growing up in the era before Television and the era of tolerance. Maybe they too had high levels of heavy metals. Had they not also been in the same environment? 'Judge not least ye be judged.' Then Dr Greeley added his own edition to the words of Christ. 'Or if you must judge at least judge on the side of giving benefit of the doubt!'
But nevertheless their bitter, foolish presence in what precious little remained Of Martha's mortal life and what it would do to her self esteem and joy de vivre which was just then beginning to show the very tiniest beginnings of recovery thanks to "Crazy Trevor's" strange but definite wisdom, would not be good for her at all! She could forgive them from afar without opening herself up to further hurt. Concerning her over-judgmental Parents and their own obviously brain damaged inability to learn anything new in decades that could have saved their genetic line and their precious Daughter, the poor Girl had long ago ran out of cheeks to slap!
Life, The Universe and Everything According to Trevor
Blackouts are wonderful things for only when all false light is gone can we sense Real Light or even realize our need to seek it. So Martha lay next to god of love on the roof of Trevor's apartment. Mortal and god stared with shared longing at the far and friendly stars.
The November night was chilly and there was the Leonid meteor shower putting on its best fireworks. One sizzled across the sky in a fiery trail of sparks. It seemed to land very near them. Martha exclaimed, "Wow! That might have landed on the roof of a building near here!"
Trevor nodded, "Meteorites are actually very common, Grasshopper. Go up on any white roof that has been around for a few years and look at all the little black rocks up there. Where do you think those came from? The Earth is getting bigger every second and it's getting heavier because of all these rocks and even micro-meteorites the size of dust and even too small to be seen hitting it and leaves growing out of sunlight and composting into soil. That is why the Dinos could be so much bigger than Birds are today. They didn't have to cope with so much gravity because the Earth was much smaller."
Trevor knew all about the stars and planets. He told Martha all about them, proclaiming he had visited many of the visible ones. He held Martha's right hand with his left one and pointed at the sky with his right. "And that's the constellation Lyra. A good friend of mine lives there. That is when he isn't living in New York in a mental hospital called MPI. His name is prot, lower case p. You can read about him in some books his Shrink wrote about him like the one Claire Bear is writing about me that I'm not supposed to know about. They are called the K-PAX series. His Shrink is named Gene Brewer. He's supposed to have the same thing Claire says I have."
Trevor went on like that for a very long time mixing a deep and accurate collection of fascinating Astronomical facts mixed in with Greek myths told as if it were his own juicy family history and discussing the sky as if he had been to much of it, talks with Aliens he had met, descriptions of planets he had visited, etc. Then he told a story about something that happened right on Earth.
"There were a bunch of hunters who were determined to have it out with some poor Deer one cold, frosty November like this one a few years back. They packed enough of an arsenal to start one of my Father's wars in some small country and advanced on the great, emerald, Pineywoods of East Texas about 50 miles from Tyler, Texas. They set up camp in the evening and went to sleep determined to make their high tech assault on Bambi the very next day. Early before daybreak one of the hunters deciding to be kind to his fellow killers, got up and started to make breakfast for the rest. He was about to put their coffee pot on the campfire when one of these Leonid meteor showers hit and it was a grand one Martha, a grand one!
"There is a kind of meteor called a bolide that explodes and when they do they light up the sky like flares. Suddenly that early Texas morning dozens of these went off at once!
Suddenly one went off right then.
Martha gasped. "Wow!"
Trevor clapped, "Thanks, Big Guy for the multimedia demonstration! Yes! Just like that! You can be sure there will be worried phone calls about what we just saw because Folks don't know diddly squat about their own Universe! Those Hunters sure didn't! The coffee pot was dropped, the hunter screamed, "Get up! World War III just started!" And those hunters packed up hastily, and I give them credit, they had courage! They didn't head further into the Pineywoods to try and avoid what they were sure would be radioactive fall out! They rushed right back to Tyler Texas to try and help thinking they would soon be dieing slowly of radiation poisoning for having done so! But there that beautiful little town was, just fine, clean and sparkling in the dewy morning's sunlight and no one knew what beer drinker's mass hallucination they were talking about! They were thought crazier than Trevor! Tyler Texas is a beautiful, big town well on its way to being a fine little city. And it really was just fine. So no one believed them about 'the flares and the aerial attack!' They were teased and laughed at unmercifully and no one would ever let them live it down!
"And Bambi lived!
"We gods knew about bolides of course. Uncle Mercury was the one who happened to notice and pointed it out to me and Uncle Vulcan and my Father and we all howled! We laughed and laughed and rolled in the dirt and cried until our tear ducts were dry and all we had to say for the next decade was 'But Bambi lived!' and there was a good chance of setting us off in explosive giggles all over again!"
Martha was amused at this but troubled at her own plight. She had deeper concerns on her mind than her cheerfully crazy friend's flights of fancy! "Trevor there was a time when I was a Child and I believed the stars were my Granny and Grandpa looking down on me from Heaven. Then I went to school and learned they were just hot balls of gas somewhere up there light years and light years away. Mindless balls of hot gas! Too far away to reach! It's not like they say on Star Trek. We can never get to them! The Preachers still insist there is a Heaven somewhere but they can't tell us where it is! You insist the gods and an Afterlife exist but you are a certified Lunatic! Now I am dying. I am already in pain, lots of pain! And I'm exhausted! I have been for decades! What's it all about? Why even bother to live? I haven't even left Offspring! I've written no books! Invented nothing! Come up with no grand ideas. Not even any useful little ideas. Saved no one's life. Worked at no important jobs. Got no laws passed. I've left no legacy! Why did I even live? And why am I even asking you, another Mental Patient who's in much worst shape than I am? I'm only depressed. You are psychotic! I suppose your cheerier moods are supposed to rub off on me is the reason they wanted us put together. Yes. I figured that out. This was something the hospital put us up to. You didn't just walk into the hospital to visit someone else and stumble across me. But as for me getting any life philosophy from you, that would be insane! So why am I asking?! This is the near-sighted asked to be led by the blind! A college Professor who failed me because my handwriting was too shaky for him to read said there is no soul and no Heaven. We are just carbon based meat computers. And that is all! We are machines! Love is just a chemical called oxytocin! So if you are love incarnate like you think, that is all you are! You are a chemical! And I've never known enough of it! You have any useful input here, 'Crazy Trevor?'"
Trevor grinned. "I am indeed a chemical in the biological realm. In the spiritual realm I am something else and when Cyberspace gets evolved enough to contain love I will be a string of computer code. I am a god and like all gods I can and do take many forms. But anyway back to our subject of giving you hope: What are those on the ends of your arms?"
Martha stared at him then at her hands, "Well my hands of course!"
He reached over and taped her skull, "What's that right under this boney thing in there?"
"Ah, my brain."
"More specific. What's the part of your brain that is right in front?"
"Excellent! Having both of those lets you Mortals do things and know you need to! You can change the Universe to make it be what you want it to be because you can anticipate it needs to be changed and you have hands with which to change it. Claire Bear thinks my original personality might have been a College Professor. So forgive me if I lecture you for a few moments. Maybe it's my original Host trying to resurface. Who knows? Anyway what does the forebrain do?"
Martha frowned. "It anticipates the Future. It is why I am worried about my coming death and it is why we are having this conversation."
Trevor beamed his approval at his student. "Correct, Grasshopper! And you weren't the first! Thousands of years ago a very crazy Neanderthal Lady, (or at least her family thought she was very crazy, just as my family and others think I am very crazy and just as your family thinks you are very crazy), refused to accept the fact her Husband's operating system was gone forever and she dragged his body to the most protected area of their family cave and after a few days it started to stink as you can well imagine! So she did the very first thing any Mortal ever did in history to fight death and that started it! That started the long process that will end in you succeeding in actually defeating it. She covered him in Flowers! And that my dear, when you started having divinely, wonderful, crazy-wise ideas to fight death instead of sanely accepting it or only cursing at it as a Chimp does, that is when you became Human! Not when you started using weapons as Arthur C Clarke said! Smart Mortal but he was wrong about that. If using weapons made folks Human we'd have to admit Chimpanzees and even some other kinds of nonhuman Animals into the Human race!
"Anyway my dear she wasn't the last. The ancient Egyptians made a pretty good attempt with their pyramids and their mummies. So good in the couple of hundred years DNA from those mummies will be sufficient to clone the hardware but not the operating systems of those mummies. You can even get Jesus's hardware back again from the Shroud of Turin in a few more hundred years. But you'll have to wait until Time circles around again due to General Relativity to get His operating System back again to give Him His Kingdom. That of course is exactly what you DO do! You use Science to give Him His Kingdom just because you want to and He deserves it and for no other reason. You've always wanted to live forever, ever since you realized you didn't live forever. So you use those hands of yours and those brains of yours and you do something about it! And you keep doing something about it for however long it takes for billions of years until you succeed! You crazy-wise, wonderful, wonderful WONDERFUL Mortals never ever give up at this! So Science has been uploading that crazy-wise Carpenter His Kingdom ever since the first self replicating single cell. Because Time and Space circle, bent by the gravitational mass of the Universe due to General Relativity. So the Future is the past and you can get back to the past to collect everybody's operating systems. The Universe itself makes a darn good time machine. A slow one but a good one and you Mortals don't have to be in any hurry! You've got forever. You find ways to speed up the process anyway. Go faster, you go towards the Future faster. You go towards the Future faster, you get back to the Past faster. And Heaven is the real Jurassic Park because Dinosaurs are really Birds and, "not even a Sparrow falls apart from the Father." There are some really Big Birds in Heaven! There are other ways to speed it up too. Any black hole and sufficiently large, heavy and old enough object with enough gravitational mass can be used as a time machine. The trick is steering and surviving the trip. That took a good, long while for you Mortals to figure out how to do. But you've got ten to fifteen billion more years to work that out and nothing better to go do with all your time. As for all of us just being carbon based meat computers: Your old college Professor is absolutely correct! For all I know if Claire Bear's correct about me I was up the hall agreeing with him or he learned that piece of hope-deflating philosophy from yours truly in my so called more 'normal' but stupider days. But that wasn't thought all the way through or deeply enough. Because whoever heard of any computer, silicon based OR carbon based without an operating system? And it is possible to transfer an operating system over to a better hardware system. What real Geek hasn't? So that is why in the Future, (which remember is just as real as the Past and really is the Past due the fact Time circles), just as you built the submarine Nautilus, the Moon ship Columbia, the International Space station, just as you have robots rolling around on Mars and vacuuming carpets on Earth, just as you invented cell phones and communication satellites, you build New Jerusalem. It is mentioned in the last two chapters of Revelation, that is the last two chapters in the Bible. It exists if for no other reason self fulfilling prophesy just as those other things I just mentioned do. Because you Mortals want it. That's why! It was just too darned good an idea not to bring to reality and Jesus was just too worthy not to give Him His Kingdom. Buddha didn't want the job. Still doesn't .We can't even persuade Buddha to get up from under his Bodhi Tree! He's still trying to destroy all desire in himself! We wish we could get him up because the Solar System won't last forever. Eventually the Sun novas and not everyone in a keep is in serious trouble! That's what the lake of fire really is; the coming nova of the sun. But at least that won't happen for a few billion years. But you don't want to be a Ghost! They have no where to go when that big old fire ball blows! If they try to go somewhere else in the Universe, besides the fact Ghosts can't go faster than light, guess what! They all mostly blow together in this part of the galaxy due to being just about the same aged stars! But Martha you are in no trouble. You asked Jesus for salvation long ago as a little Girl though you've forgotten about that now. But the Big Guy didn't. He loves you and He has a place for you in that Cube you call Heaven which you Mortals built using Science. You evolve into Him and because Time circles over and over again He already exists. You don't believe me? Check out Ephesians 4:15. You grow up into Him in EVERY way and EVERY way does include evolution. And because you do have forebrains and do know darn well you are all gonna die every Doctor for the next ten to fifteen billion years is working towards Eternal Life and every Scientist is building Heaven. Faith inspires Science and Science fulfills Faith. You do eventually succeed you know. With all that time to succeed and all your fear of death and your incredible tenacity and cleverness how could you wonderful, wonderful Mortals possibly fail?"
Trevor grinned at Martha's opened mouthed confusion at all this! "As for me being a delusional nutcase, a nutcase, maybe, but delusional? I doubt it! You built us ditsy deities as an experiment towards immortality long before you evolve into the Omega Point. You brought us little g gods to life just because you wanted to. We are an experiment in immortality that probably shouldn't have been done. But hey! Once made we were made so here we are!" Trevor grinned. "You do have a certain responsibility to us since you made us even if you don't choose to worship us any more. I do understand about not wanting to worship us since my Grandfather is very much around the bend now and Jesus is so much better for you. But still you have a certain responsibility to us since you made us. Which is why you are buying me a pizza and a pitcher of beer tonight and a ticket to see that new Star Wars flick."
Martha laughed, "Oh Trevor you are either the wisest Person I have ever met or you are nuts! Or most likely, you are both!"
Trevor beamed in pleasure at what he was taking as a compliment and took her hand again. "But I'm fun!"
Suddenly the lights came back on both in the city and in Martha's heart!
She laughed in glee! Trevor laughed too! They left the roof together and went running up the street hand in hand towards the theater, ta ta tumming the Star Wars Main Title and swishing imaginary light sabers. The Force was with them!
Trevor added as they ran, "And by the way you do get to those stars! Star Trek did get it right! Though it takes a while and you actually master time backwards travel first. A Black Physic's Professor named Ronald L Mallett is working on a real time machine right now. Go Google him or type 'The Real Time Machine' in at the search box on You Tube. But you do figure out Faster Than Light travel eventually and you bring other Fictional Characters to life too, not just us little g gods. Far in the Future before this Big Bang my Grandfather Zeus once had dinner at a Science Fiction convention with one of the Captain Kirks. There are several different versions of him! Right from this century there is one based on William Shatner's portrayal and one based on this other guy I won't tell you about because you would really think I'm nuts!"
And Martha Moves On
Most of the gods are not allowed into the Mortal keep of John's Cube for the same reason that computers not cleaned up of viruses and spy-ware are not allowed to join computer networks. All it takes is one bit of sin and emotional baggage to wreak the perfect serenity that exists within the Jewel modded case of the 1500 mile long Geek-built structure known as Heaven but also called John's Cube or New Jerusalem. It would spread like a computer virus throughout the whole network. But there have been a few rare exceptions. Vulcan was allowed in for a few minutes and Mercury is allowed into the foyer once in a while to do what Greeting Angels usually do under very special circumstances. That is partly because it was one of his jobs quite often before the Administration change and partly because he is such a sweet Natured soul he does no harm. He is red headed and the grandson of a Valkyrie but he does not fit the fiery stereotype. Neither does his grandmother. She is a sweet little thing not bad tempered at all and as chubby and short as Uncle Mercury as skinny and tall!
Because Trevor had been "on the side of the Angels" this time, Mercury was again allowed to take Andrew's Greeting Angel job for this gig. And because Mercury was allowed to take Andrew's Greeting Angel job this for this gig and Cupid had been so good for a change, Hera, Zeus's wife (Cupid's grandmother) and his Mother Venus temporarily relented on his punishment and lifted the psychic veil/mental force field from his eyes during Martha's death.
So Trevor was able to see his Uncle and possible real father for a few minutes. He stared at his Uncle Mercury like he was the dieing one and he had just been granted a reprieve! He fell into his Uncle's arms, tears pouring down his eyes like a river!
Claire stared at him with professional concern and friendship horror! "Trevor! You're hallucinating!"
Trevor continued to hug his beloved and deeply missed childhood companion and just shook his head and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed! His chest heaved as if his ribs were going to break!
Claire continued to stare. How does he keep from falling over, leaning against nothing like that?
Martha protested. "Hey! Why are you crying so hard? I'm the one who's dying!"
Trevor smile through his tears. "You'll be dancing in a minute, trampling on these old clothes! That's all this horrid old torture rack will be to you; a wretched bag of smelly, old rags! You'll take my Uncle Mercury's hand and dance with him and whoop and holler in joy and I'm going to be allowed to see it because I'm being allowed some mercy here and my Claire Bear thinks my brain is deteriorating! But it won't matter 'cause this is temporary. Then you and him will take off like comets headed upwards and you'll get to see the rings of Saturn close up just like we discussed and then you'll check in at John's Cube and I'll never hug you ever again, Kid! Cause we gods are reprobates being granted special mercy even being allowed to still exist after the Administration Change due to you having created us before you realized what you were doing and it's not our fault we are the way we are! And am I ever going to miss you!" Trevor frowned. But then he smiled again, through his tears. "But you'll be just fine forever! So will I, sort of cause Claire is helping me! And you Mortals have your huge keep hovering over Mount Sinai in Geosynchronous orbit and we have our little, tiny keep hidden under a bush on Mount Olympus. So we won't be able to hug one another ever again! But we can communicate. Once I get all my couples united and go back home myself I'll get on the net and chat with you and email you. Uncle Vulcan was allowed to roll himself in his wheel chair into John's Cube just long enough to set up a wifi connection!"
"A wifi connection?!" Martha laughed." "And there is a god who uses a wheel chair?" She said. "Trevor I sure hope you are correct about an Afterlife! In a few moments I will know!"
Claire nodded. 'I hope he's correct too and/or this new wrinkle in his psychosis is temporary. If he keeps hallucinating he will have to go on medication and/or be hospitalized again. He'll hate it!"
Trevor was so confident he was right he grinned through his tears and just kept hugging his invisible pal. "I wouldn't mind normal medication Claire Bear just none of that brain destroying Thorax-B and you don't have to hospitalize me. I'll take normal psyche meds as an Outpatient religiously, voluntarily and without even one whimper if you want me to because I know darn well a Dog who won't come when he's called has to be kept on a chain all the time. And I don't want to have to be kept on a chain!"
Claire said, "Well! If you can still make metaphors that at least indicates you brain still hasn't sunk into Schizophrenia."
Martha said, "Ah oh! Here I go sinking into death! Even at my death Trevor manages to be the center of attention!"
Claire and Trevor both held her hands tightly. The simple Human and divine touch was a comfort but it did not help her stay.
The light was brilliant! But it did not hurt!
And there he was! Tall as lamp post! Ugly but beautiful! Grinning a loopy grin as if to say, "See?!" A shaggy red haired huge, good natured, sheep dog of a little g god! Uncle Mercury! Trevor. (No! CUPID!) had been correct!
There really was Life after Life! The famous lunatic-barkeep of Chicago really was the ancient Greco-Roman god of love! And he had correctly explained the Universe to her! Wow!
The big, loopy god of speed gave her a big hug on her neck which was about all of her he could reach he was so tall! Then he kissed the top of her head! Then he looked down at her, his dark green eyes twinkling and he grinned at her like a Canary fed Cat. "Welcome to the Afterlife, Kid! And you know what they say! Today is the first day of the rest of your life!"
Martha started giggling in relief that she wasn't 'dead' that she was no longer in pain, that 'crazy Trevor' had actually been right! And because Uncle Mercury was such a silly sight! (Whoever heard of a god who wore ragged blue jeans, a red Hawaiian shirt and forgot to comb or cut his shaggy red hair?!
Uncle Mercury smiled."Why don't you do what my goofball of a little squirt said to do? Go dance on that pileof rags that passed for a body you were forced to use! The Carpenter's 'bout to give you a MUCH better bod my smart, purty
Lassie! You always hated your body but the life you had in it was just the Beta test. So get your harmless revenge! In the mean time the Ghost you are temporarily looks good on you and thanks to Trevor we both know how to boogie! Come on!"
Claire stared at her most demented patient for of course Trevor had to join them too, except at least he didn't actually dance on top of what was left of Martha. He just danced next to that and left Martha and Uncle Mercury dance on top of Martha's remains. Claire was a bit shocked. I'd call for the Orderlies and have him recommitted right now but dancing is at least harmless and I'll give him a little it more time to re-stabilize. The death of a Friend can be very traumatic. He may recover a bit back up to his normal levels of abnormality. If I give him time! I must be patient!
Finally after about fifteen minutes Uncle Mercury and Martha got bored with dancing on her body much to Cupid's disappointment and Claire's capital letter, RELIEF! She had been having a time holding off the hospital from taking it!
From his nine foot vantage point Mercury smiled down at Martha and smiled a different kind of smile, a deeper, wiser one, more fitting for a being over 8000 years old and took her hand and waved "by by" to his nephew/kid and soared Peter Pan-with-Wendy-like through the hospital room's glass window.
Trevor stared at Clare who was watching him like a Hawk. No! Watching him like something WORSE than a Hawk: Watching him like a Mental Health Expert trying to figure out if a Patient needed psychiatric confinement again or not!
Trevor smiled and said, "You can relax now, Claire Bear and let them take the empty hard drive. They are both gone and I doubt I'll be seeing my Uncle Mercury again until I get my hundredth couple united. This was just a special dispensation because of the situation. The psychic veil/mental force field has been replaced back over my eyes again."
She stared at him, still concerned. "You sure? You aren't just, 'pulling a Cupid' on me here again to stay out of the hospital?"
He smiled and shook his head.
She believed him. She smiled back.
They went out for pizza and to talk of old Friends no longer with them.
Meanwhile on the way to other places.
It was a bit disconcerting through the glass but not all that bad. They soared up, up, UP through the sapphire sky, through misty clouds and playfully through a 747 full of People! "Uncle Mercury you didn't have to do that!"
He giggled like a little kid. "I'm not an Angel! I'm mischievous! If you wanted the 'Touched by an Angel' treatment you'd have gone to Church, not a bridge to jump off of. Just be glad you are going up at all!"
She had no answer to that!
Hovering in geosynchronous orbit over Mount Sinai in what Quantum Physics is going to call Dimension 7, is John's Cube. Future Science builds It. General Relativity allows it be already there. It is not a particularly big structure. Humans have already built much bigger. We have cities right now that are much wider than 1500 miles long, though admittedly not as tall. But out in Space 1500 miles tall is no problomo. In a certain periods in our history "New Jerusalem" (that's another name for it) will descend on to the top of Mount Sinai. But right now John's Cube is in Geosynchronous orbit over Jerusalem and hidden from us in the 7th dimension. This is not a hard thing to do, to hide it. Olympus is hidden from us too. But that's just hidden under a bush and a few shovel fulls of dirt. Hiding something the size of bread box is not that hard to hide! Something 1500 miles long is a little harder but not impossible with billions of years of future technology. It is not like anyone is thinking to look for either of them now is there?
Uncle Mercury took Martha up to one of 12 "pearls" that are the huge, glowing, white, circular entrance ways into Heaven, two on each of the six sides. "There you go, Kid." He said. "Those are the, 'pearly gates' the Fundamentalist sing about. You go through one of those to get into Heaven. It doesn't matter which one. Take your pick."
Martha said, "How does Heaven work?"
Uncle Mercury sighed. "Kid, "You are looking at the fastest god in the Universe! So fast that when my Father Zeus tried to learn me my lessons I just up and left for the Pegasus galaxy and he couldn't catch me! Oh I did finally learn to read! So well in fact I wrote an entire encyclopedia on herbal medicine that was so good it is a darn shame it didn't survive to this day due to the papyrus shortage and the Dark Age and it being Pagan and 'evil' and all that. And due to my being hit by a few too many lightning bolts over my long dispute with my brother Mars over our love and lust for Cupid's Mom my brains are a tad fried by thunder bolts so I don't remember most of the cures that were in it and you still need lots of them today! But anyway it was Cupey who actually got in trouble with his Mommy for studying math when he should have been out there studying how to match up couples and that when he was just a little squirt! He's the brains in this here family, not moi! I was just perfectly willing to go do what I was supposed to do and go buzzing about the galaxies telling my family members, 'hey! My bro Mars wants you to pay 'tention to him for a few moments, so heads up! We have selective omnipresence not total. That's why I'm needed. I don't have to deliver entire messages, just point out to each other the need to pay attention. But anyway except on the most basic level I haven't the darnest idea how these things work. I used to tell Mortals what all we gods told Mortals, 'It's magic.' Say! I know! Scotty on Star Trek would call the pearls 'matter/energy translating devices.' We have 12 little ones round Olympus too. What happens is every once in a while someone wants to leave a keep in physical form. So we go through one of these and they translate our virtual bodies into something with Artificial DNA code that can eat and drink and poop and fart and even have sex. To go back in they electrocute you which does not hurt. Ask any Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy Patient before they used anesthesia or someone who died on Old Sparky. I know Doctors lie all the time and say things, 'won't hurt a bit.' But this time they tell the truth. It does not hurt a bit to die from electricity. It just looks horrible; all the jerking around the dead body does reflexively from the nerves dealing with all the electricity. But Elvis has already left the building and the Shock Therapy Patient is still alive but completely not feeling it, already completely unconscious. It doesn't hurt a bit for the same reason when we gods kill a Mortal with one our our lightning bolts it doesn't hurt either. Any way to go back in if You are in Mortal form it shoots out a lightning bolt and electrocutes You and then it shoots out a laser beam and slices You up into teeny tiny particles even smaller than quarks and turns You into a virtual You and digitizes You and uploads you. But You are already out of your body anyway. So no being electrocuted for You today. Sorry 'bout that! Maybe next time!"
"AHHHH!" said Martha pretending to be disappointed.
Uncle Mercury laughed. "Anyway to explain it in a way that keeps the faith in you 'sophisticated modern Mortal's minds.'" (Uncle Mercury made quote marks with his fingers) "the pearls are like Star Trek and Star Gate's transporters, except they also translate You back back and forth between being matter and energy beings depending on if You are going in or out. As for John's Cube itself, it's like one big pattern buffer You live in all the time except it has scenery and other People and Plants and Animals and interesting things for you to do and interact with inside of it." Uncle Mercury started laughing. "I just did the modern equivalent of telling you, 'It's magic.' I saved myself a great deal of time and stress!" He grinned. 'Trevor's' right! That's how to communicate with you modern Mortals. Forget saying, 'It's magic.' Just say, 'It's like they do it on Star Trek!' It will save me tons of explaining since you really can't understand the technical explanations yet that I don't even understand myself but You refuse to accept, 'it's magic' anymore! "Anyway you get to go in there and we don't because we gods are just too messed up and have too much emotional baggage for the place. Jesus cleans you Mortals up from all of that when you ask Him to indwell you makes you fit to live in there. But He came for you not us elementary spirits. So we'd foul the place up. Never mind. Thanks to your Mortal's mercy we gods have our keep too because its not our fault You made us before You realized the responsibility You had taken on, creating imperfect life, so we've been granted special mercy. Olympus is comfortable and very beautiful even if we're not serene enough for You Persnicketys over here and we love it!"
Then Uncle Mercury smiled and bent way down and gave Martha one last hug and a kiss on the top of her head. "My Kid is going to miss you, Martha! I see why! You are one Hell of a Mortal even if you are going to Heaven!"
So they hugged. Then Martha went through the nearest pearl.
Mercury put his hands in the pockets of his torn, old blue jeans and started humming the theme song to, 'Star Trek The Next Generation.' Then he turned and flew off to the Horse head Nebula to zoom around in it and play Starship Enterprise. Odds bodkins! He could hardly wait for Eros to be back to play with!
Martha's Unexpected Legacy
The next day Martha's Parents came to see Dr Greeley and that was amazing! Maybe there was hope after all. It wasn't for therapy of course. But it came close!
They told him they were had made a big donation to the Green Our Vaccines movement and they did it in Martha's name. After all vaccines also contain mercury and aluminum and cadmium as well as many other questionable substances. Many are only there to make then cheap for Big Pharma to produce, store and sell. They don't really need to be there to do what they are supposed to do. One really big suspect in the damage they definitely cause is the neurotoxin glutamate which isn't a heavy metal but it is a brain cell killer that can cause rage reactions, seizures and brain damage and it is in every live virus vaccine labeled as "hydrolyzed protein." It is used there as a preservative. That also is strongly suspected of causing Autism because many People including many Autistics and Epileptics have very bad reactions to glutamate. That is why MSG harms so many People. Because it makes foods taste exciting food manufacturers want to put it in their foods but they don't want People to know it's in there because then many would not buy it. So the FDA allows glutamate to hide in foods under 40 different names making what causes someone's rage reactions almost impossible to figure out. There are People in jails and prisons for how glutamate made them act involuntarily with rage and violence! And People murdered and injured by their Loved Ones! (They think they are getting away with it but the Big God is watching the Folks at the FDA! And Big Pharma! And Big Food!)
Then Martha's Parents did an even more amazing thing! They announced to the amazed Psychiatrist they were shutting down their business! They didn't announce they were modifying it or agreeing to put warning labels about heavy metals and other toxins on the bags or anything less helpful to cleaning up the environment. They were just shutting it down that very week but giving their Employers six months of severance pay and they were going to figure out some way to dispose of the sludge they had already collected to be made into fertilizer that didn't involve turning it into chemicals that would be spread on Plants!
They were keeping just a million to live on giving all the rest of their billions to environmental causes to make up for all or some of the damage they had done, putting toxin warning signs all over their estate, leaving it to rot and buying an RV and moving to Florida!
But not before Dr Greeley would be allowed to examine Martha's Mother for the same medical problems that had plagued Martha. She too had felt lousy for decades but learned to keep quiet about it to keep her Husband's gentle tyranny appeased. Or else he would hold back his love and approval and he could do so for years due to being Autistic himself. The way he'd treated Martha was proof of that! It had taken her Daughter's death and what Dr Greeley had said to her Husband to give her the ability to admit to it and hold her ground and insist on real medical examination not a brush and a promise Doctor!
Dr Greeley said. "Sir, you need to be checked for heavy metals too. I see symptoms of it in you too."
Mr Shumway swallowed, frowned and nodded!
Martha was leaving a much bigger legacy than she had realized!
Meanwhile in a little apartment in Chicago near the river...
A good Book Author who thought she was a good Therapist but really wasn't, but went way beyond the call of duty as an Advocate for her Patient, (and that was what Trevor really needed), a Bar Bouncer who was a very good Actor, just too picky and a not so great Greek god who was a fantastic Barkeep stared at a string of pool marker beads. One more of them had moved from one side to the other and the great barkeep/gentle mental patient/ditzy deity had no clue as to why!
The confused Greek god protested. "But Claire! I never united her with any one! She never fell in love with anyone and now she's dead and gone from me! I don't understand why this bead moved!"
Champ and Claire looked at the string of beads and looked at Trevor and looked at each other and their mouths flew open and they shrugged and shook their heads in amazement at "the god of love" being so clueless!
Claire said gently, "Some part of you does understand, Trevor because even though you don't consciously realize it an alternate part of you is moving these beads yourself. Martha was in love with you, and was until she died, and you were and are in love with her even if you love me too because it is certainly possible to truly love more than one Person at a time. So that makes it True Love. The alternative persona part of you that moves those beads does so in a fugue state and then the conscious part of you confabulates a memory of seeing the beads move by themselves. Or that is you think your family moves them for you. That fugue part of you does understand this; that you and her loved each other until death! Thinking you see those bead move isn't quite a hallucination because an alternate persona of yours really does move them and you are really just having a false memory of seeing them move. But it comes dangerously close to being a hallucination and it's the kind of thing that makes me worry about you very much as both your Doctor and as your Friend! You almost have something quite a bit worse than Dissociative Identity Disorder. And that's bad enough!"
Trevor started crying and like Mr. Spock when Dr McCoy hit a little too close to home in his analyzing of the the Vulcan, he said, "Really!?"
Dr. Claire Allen said, "Yes, Trevor. Really!"
And Champ nodded in agreement.
Far in another realm tears flowed from a different kind of a body, a body that could never feel pain but could feel sorrow. A gentle finger reached out and wiped still another tear from still another one of His Children and Ancestor's eyes, then took it and placed it in a little, crystal bottle to keep forever. For He had made a promise that He would wipe away all His beloveds tears in Revelation 7:17. And He always keeps His promises.
In the smaller keep on that other mountain, UncleMercury was sitting in his favorite olive tree watching his Kid as he often did and called out to one of his brothers, Neptune the god of the oceans in his palace/god-keep under the Mediterranean sea. "Hey Neppy! Eros has had his heart broken by another Mortal again!"
Neptune sighed and put the trident he was polishing back in its umbrella stand. Then he shook his head. "You know we're going to have to let him keep one, one of these days! There aren't any goddesses his age for him to have kids with. He can't be marrying his sisters like we did. It just ain't right doing that three generations in a row! Look what it got us. Hermaphroditus, Vulcan and Cupid himself. Wings! That boy ain't normal! Not to mention you, you long drink of water! I don't even want to think what would happen if he'd had a thing for Rhoda! Say I'm hungry? What do you feel like tonight? Italian or Tex Mex?"
"Neither." Mercury grinned. "Let's do Japaneses. Race you to Singapore?"
Neptune protested."Not fair! No one beats you!"
Mercury said cheerfully, "I'll run backwards"
Neptune grinned "Oh. OK. I'll pay. I found some pearls and an honest pawn shop. Just pick an all you can eat."
Authors note, I already have a much more lighthearted sequel to this started called "Cupid: One Hundred!" Yes. It is indeed what it sounds, still another one hundredth bead story. In this one Cupid/Trevor Hale gets his powers back but decides to stay on Earth with Claire. And yes, it conflicts with the hundredth bead story I've already written as well as Gumtu's, plus "Cupid 1.0 to 2.0 The Transfer." But I'm having way too much fun to care! :))
Also coming soon, "Cupid Grand Delusions 2009 and Cupid Hilariously Delirious where Cupid/Trevor Pierce runs a fever, goes delirious and has sundry colorful hallucinations. If he were really crazy this would be it! AND his family shows up much to Claire Bear's amazement and bemusement! Uncle Mercury and Dr Leo saves the day and we get to meet Athena/Hooty Owl a fat little goddess with great wisdom and a nice, warm fur coat.