Author's note. Please treat this as an advertisement for Gene Brewer's books, "K-PAX, "On A Beam of Light" and (coming in July 2002), "K-PAX 3 The Worlds's of Prot." He is the originator of these marvelous character so if you like our version of these events you should take the trouble and expense to read his. Also treat this as an add for the Universal Studios Movie. K-PAX which will be on video in March 2002

If you like this and want a paper copy with photos from the movie write me at Elizabeth Hensley Post Office box 1022 Williston, Fl. 32696 I will send you paper copies of all our K-PAX stuff, BUT you have to state in writing that you have purchased at least one of the above mentioned books or seen the movie, and made a two dollar donation to the charity of your choice. Fair enough?




Written with Love

for both gene brewers

the real and the unreal.

(for imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery)


elizabeth hensley


madam foogie 8-)


(as told by prot with love to giselle)

I had decided to write a book about mental illness and prot in particular and so I often asked him the kinds of questions psychiatrists don't think to ask their patients. I wanted to find out what the mental health care system is like from the patient's point of view. Prot is the perfect mental patient to interview because he is very lucid, friendly and articulate. And he isn't scared to talk to a reporter like some patients and even normal people are. And he isn't the least bit intimidated by the fact I tape what he says. I also think he likes me a little bit.

"When did your first realize you needed help, prot?"

Prot nodded, "A good question. You would be surprised at my insight and the insight of many of the other fine folks at this quality establishment. We just don't dare let the doctors know we know, or they'd kick us out before we are really helped. We have to act crazy enough to stay here, or else they'll kick us out before we can become sane!

"I knew we were both in trouble from the minute I had to drag robert from that riverbank, but I actually thought I was handling it pretty well, the normal member of the pair, but that just ain't so! I was almost as bad as robert. It took me a while to realize that, but I did.

"I first comprehended robert's silence and my homesickness was getting to me more than I realized, more than I could bear, when I lost my appetite.

"When a dremer won't eat, he is very, very sick.

"For weeks I monitored my continuing anorexia with a combination of horror and clinical detachment. I would weigh myself at whatever public scale was handy, and note in my note book, 265, 263, 240! Down, down, down it went. Never ever up.

"It was not that I couldn't find food. I can feed myself. I can mirror beam to any orchard in the world or glean a few vegetables from 3 billion farms. The broccoli on a thousand hills are mine! Most farmers the world over don't even care. All I really need money for is clothing, flashlight batteries, which I go through like they were peanuts to an elephant, (mirror beaming takes a lotta bunny juice), deodorant, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors, notebooks, pencils etc. I am strong. I am content to sleep under a tree. If it starts to rain I mirror beam (or just walk), to a drier tree. Like any other homeless person and my favorite EARTH beings, the birds, I went south in the winter and north in the summer. The only thing is I went all over your WORLD instead of just staying in one country like most homeless. At first, on those rare times when I needed money I would put up a, sign that said "will work for money." And I meant it. I would refuse to take any money no matter how bitter my circumstances, (and they rarely got bitter, for I am a survivor), unless they actually had something I could do. It is impossible without a social security number, or a past I can write down on paper, or even a last name, to fill out an employment form, to hold down a steady job, but I can walk dogs, mow lawns, weed, etc. Once I got a great really FUN job at a circus for a few days shoveling up elephant poop. I enjoyed that. It reminded me completely of home."

I stared at him, "Shoveling up elephant poop reminded you of K-PAX?"

"Giselle, in my younger days I was the darndest best shoveler of ap shit off of library hallways you ever could see! I've done plenty of it in my 337 years, believe me. The furry beings appreciate it that I pick up after them, and certainly the dremers and the humans do, though they often don't want to smell me afterwards."

I giggled.

He grinned impishly at me. He knew I believed him. I was never his second "narr." (That is a disbeliever). It was just that the idea of an Extraterrestrial who enjoyed shoveling dung was a bit strange to say the least!

Prot got a peaceful, joyous look on his face, "There is a certain spiritual connection between the shoveler, the cosmos, and the animal you are helping when you shovel dung, and it is great exercise too. It has always left me feeling peace FULL. I have an extensive mental collection of ways to say shit from around the galaxy. Shit is sacred, giselle, because it makes things grow, it boldly spreads life where no life has gone before.

"Once I visited a patch of planet that had just had a volcanic eruption. It looked like what you would call a moon scape, no life anywhere for as far as I could see, except I looked down at my feet, and some winged being had crapped in a crack of lava.

There in the bird poop a little blade of grass was growing.

"Giselle, if you people ever survive long enough to terra-scape MARS, you are going to be exporting plenty of poop, believe you me. Poop is more valuable than gold because it nurtures life, and you can only get it from a life bearing world. Gold's all over the place.

"Later after visiting a renaissance festival I got a better idea. I became a wandering story teller. I would hold up a sign, 'will tell you a very strange story for money.' Usually I would have over 50 dollars by nightfall and a completely satisfied clientele. This also allowed me at the same time to talk about HOME, which fought my homesickness. The money I could make in one day telling wide-eyed, disbelieving, but hungry-to-believe homo sapiens about K-PAX was enough to last me for days. If my wanderlust and need to complete my report hadn't kept me moving I could have settled down a thousand times. After I became a story teller most police left me alone because it was obvious even to them I wasn't begging, I was providing a very valuable and very needed service; besides they liked my wild tales of life on K-PAX too. In fact I am almost amazed your New YORRK City," " (pronounced like the salsa commercial) "police even bothered to take me in. After years of trying how to figure out how to get help for myself and robert, and just in the last final minute nick of time when it seriously looked like I was going to have to maroon myself on EARTH permanently and miss my beam up date, to take care of my friend, I finally got it, almost unexpectedly, and all because I tried to help an old lady to her feet after some punks mugged her."

Prot got a thoughtful look on his face. "They say no good deed goes unpunished but sometimes you get rewarded AND punished both at the same time."

"You didn't expect the police to take you in for claiming to be from another planet?"

Prot shrugged, "I figured it would happen sometime. I just didn't know when. I had been claiming right out in the open to be from K-PAX for most of my sojourn on EARTH."

I was amazed, "You never tried to hide the fact you were from an alien world?"

Prot gave me his Cheshire cat grin, but there was a touch of affection in it too. "A few times, to avoid commitment under circumstances where I did not wish it, but you would be surprised how many bored, lonely, homo sapiens have the wisdom to grasp at any hope of there being any wonder at all left in your sorry impoverished concept of the cosmos!"

Prot looked very sad and very angry here.

"Like that muldour character says, 'I want to believe.' You ALL want to believe!

"Anyway, back to my anorexia. I finally realized I needed help for robert desperately and for myself almost as desperately. But how to get it? My time was running out on EARTH, my beam me up scotty time was approaching, and I knew if I left robert's body for even a minute the puppet would have lost its strings."

Prot gazed at me earnestly and stated here with fervent sincerity, "Please understand this about me if you never understand anything else! I never wanted to be robert's puppet master, giselle. Please believe me, and all you other EARTH people who will be reading this account, please, please believe me, because I really, really DID NOT! If the tragedy hadn't happened I would have been content and very happy on all my visits to EARTH to simply observe life in the back of robert's brain and taste the unbearable brightness of being through HIS experience, his many sorrows, his sacred joys, his precious laughter! His taste in food is the exact same as mine. I had picked my host very carefully. I never tried to take what dr. b calls, "dominant position," until robert's catatonia forced me to for our mutual survival's sake.

"But robert needed help and I needed help. But how? "I figured I'd have my best shot in new york, since all the best psychoanalysts are here, so that's why I mirror beamed here from indiana. Not to mention I wanted to experience a new york christmas before my beam up. Still I didn't know quite how to go about getting into this paradise, so the police really did me a favor.

"Thank about it, giselle, and all you readers. Just how do you get yourself committed to a GOOD mental hospital in this non socialized medicine country? I sure couldn't pay for quality care! And I knew it had to be in america. Robert is from america. He wouldn't fit in a swedish looney bin, or an african one, or certainly not in a former soviet country's."

"And once you get in, how do you stay in? If you act too normal, they'll think you are malingering and kick you out. Ask me about that, sometime!"

I wrote down in my notebook, prot wants me to ask about previous mental health care experience.

"And how do you get sent to the right ward and get the right treatment? If I had acted too disturbed they would put us on the drug track. Now don't get me wrong, giselle. With my own amazed eyes, since my life as a mental patient, I have seen over a hundred times, the right neuroleptic medication sooth and wake a psychotic out of his agonizingly horrifying 24/7 nightmares! Blessed sanity returns gradually like a SUN-STAR melting dew! Most of the time they are so very grateful and relieved when they realize their terrors were just due to a dopamine overdose! I understand fully why psychiatrists usually go the drug route. It often works, and when it works it works VERY well."

He gave me a wise little grin, "It must make the psychiatrists feel like gods to be able to have that kind of power to help people! BUT I knew that was not what robert and I needed. There was buried trauma somewhere in robert's past, and I sure didn't know what it was!" We needed a new friend who would listen and probe, and try to figure out just what it was that was bothering my host. But..

"Here's the rub. I didn't dare let anyone know he was with me, not for the longest time."

"Why, prot?"

"I don't know, giselle, I sensed some.....thing, like robin was in big MUCHO trouble with his fellow homo sapiens, that something had happened that he had to hide from them, and I didn't have any idea what! Maybe he had a legal problem. I dare say if I had gone to the police and said, 'oh by the way, I think the homo sapiens whose body I am borrowing may have done something untoward. Mind running his prints and checking it out?,' my next destination would have been jail, and then prison for life (without my mirror and flashlight and thus no way to go home or even out of there). Or if I was even less lucky we would have been placed in some state mental hospital for the criminally insane where they would, as gene put it, "stick a needle in my butt every morning which would leave me with a silly grin on my face for the rest of my time left on EARTH). I knew I could do better than that for robert and myself. I had to!"

There was a determined look in prot's fiery sun-glassed brown eyes. His jaw was set. I could see him remembering this awful period as if he were still going though it. I took his hand, "Its ok prot, you have friends now."

He looked at me and gave me this incredible look of gratitude and joy! "Yes, giselle, you are quite keee-rect! I am among many friends now, and so is robert. And then of course there is dr. gene, 'geno,' 'narr' brewer. He is the best friend besides robert that I have, ever have had, on any PLANET in my life! And he is robert's friend too, and he is helping the both of us so very much! I think I had better write a thank you note to those po-lice for finally listening to me and realizing I needed help!"

Prot grinned joyfully.

"Well, I just had beamed into the bus station to check a locker where I was keeping some of my clothes when I heard this commotion and a couple of punks knocked this old lady off her feet. I went over to try and help her out. As I was putting my arm down to help her, the police came along.

"There was some confusion over who did what to whom. This nice fellow in a wheelchair came to my defense and pointed out I had not been the mugger, and the lady confirmed this. It might have ended there but apparently they were suspicious of my dark glasses. I found out since, that a lot of drug users wear dark glasses because their cocaine use dilates their eyes, as mine are naturally. When they asked me to remove them so they could see my eyes I was naturally reluctant, and made my famous, 'I had forgotten but like wow your planet is really bright!' Like I had just arrived. I didn't feel like explaining I had been in new york for several months and was keeping a locker full of clothing at the station. They might have taken them away from me. This was farsighted of me, because they sure did take stuff away from me.

"I asked, 'What happened to the clothes in that locker?'

"Later I told the orderlies at long island about it and they sent somebody to fetch my stuff. So I got most of it back, except for some money. No telling who or what took that, but it was only a few dollars. Considering how long I've been an inmate of the mental health system these have been the cheapest digs on the PLANET, at least to me. I apologize to the taxpayers of america, but what can I do about it? Sorry!

"Giselle, after trying several times to get help for robert and myself it is really ironic a simple statement about your PLANET being too bright for my K-PAXian eyes was all it took to get these cop-humans interested in helping me. How can their fellow humans say that new yorkers are uncaring? I have found them to be most compassionate and concerned for my welfare. After five months of being in this country it took two new yorkers to figure out that my total honesty about being from another PLANET was a cry for help.

"They put handcuffs on me and they frisked me. Robert's little pocketknife that I used to sharpen my pencils was taken away from me. They took everything else away from me too, my last remaining pencil, my notebooks, my personal care items, my six dollars and twenty EIGHT cents in cash, the orange the salvation army lady had given me that was going to be my lunch, and a piece of paper on which I had jotted some astronomical calculations.

"They kept asking me questions. A situation that has not stopped. For the last few months all I have done is answer questions! You guys are curious beings! That is one of your rare good traits. In fact if all I knew about you was the level of your curiosity I would actually think homo sapiens had a chance at survival! It is not true what you guys say about curiosity. It did not kill the cat. Ignorance killed the cat. Curiosity was framed.

"I told them I was called prot, that it meant sojourner in pax-o, that I was from the planet K-PAX.

"At this point they read me my rights. I let them finish, listening carefully. It isn't exactly like they do in the cop shows. It is longer. After they were through I asked them. What are your names?

"They told me patricia donovan and sam davidson.

"Then they stuffed me in the back of the cop car and soon I was riding in it on the way to a police station, just like in one of your american movies!

" 'So pat and sam,' I asked, 'I noticed from that little speech you gave me I am allowed to know what I am being charged with. So I am asking, what am I being charged with? I was not aware that even on this savage PLANET helping an old lady up off the concrete was a punishable offense.' "

" 'Disturbing the peace.'

"I exclaimed, 'Now that is really i-RON-ic! What peace does your WORLD have that I can disturb it? If there is any, how did I disturb it? How can I disturb what is already completely disturbed beyond belief? I know of WORLDS where, if I told them what went on here, they would think I was completely insane!'

"Pat shrugged, 'We don't think you are quite THAT sick, prot! But we have to charge you with something.'

" 'Why?'

" 'So we can get you to the help you so obviously need.'

"I had no answer to that one. In fact I felt hope welling up inside of me! All this time I had wanted help for robert. Was it finally happening?

"I got a little mischievous at this point. I started singing 'imagine.' Now you know how I sing, giselle!" He winced.

I winced, too.

Prot continued, "For some strange reason the cops didn't appreciate my musical performance! Sam asked me to stop. I said, 'No. I'm not going to stop! If I'm being arrested for disturbing the peace so you can try to get me help, I want you to have something tangible to make the charge stick!'

"They laughed at that.

"I punned, 'What I am giving you is definitely a stellar musical performance. Get it, stellar?'

"Pat said, 'We get it, prot, but we don't want it!'

"I grinned at them making sure my face showed in the car's rear view mirror.

"Sam said, 'Ok, prot, you CAN stop now. We consider the peace sufficiently disturbed. In fact I think we can get you the electric chair!'

"So I stopped.

"Sam added, 'You do realize we are kidding about the chair, right?'

"I said, 'Yup.'

"I informed them that I was harmless to EARTH life 'unless you are a plant.' I told them I liked EARTH produce especially, 'So I'm on the same level of menace to human society as a fruit bat!'

"We had come to a stop light, and since I wasn't an emergency, pat stopped instead of running the siren and sailing us though it. I was a bit disappointed at that. This cop car ride of mine wasn't as exciting as being in the movies, but it was safer!

"They laughed at my fruit bat comment so long, it outlasted the red light!

"I informed them of our low population levels and pointed out 'So what if all 15 million of us did invade your WORLD one day? You have more babies born in less than a day than that! You'd hardly even notice us!'

"They nodded, 'You sound pretty harmless to us all right. I don't doubt you will have lots of privileges where you are going.'

" 'And where is that?' I asked.

"They refused to answer. That worried me a bit, but I had seen enough american movies to have a vague idea anyway. Miracle on 31st street for instance. I knew from how that went that hopefully what I had already said to them was enough to get me a trip to bellevue. Once there I could improvise even stranger behavior and make my commitment stick long enough to do robert some good.

"So they brought me to the police station and it was more of a madhouse than long island or mpi ever have been. Humans who were being brought it were yelling and cursing and struggling. I stared at the confusion wide eyed. I am thinking to myself, 'I am going in among these beings?' But they had me firmly by the arms; I had no choice but to enter the building.

"They made me stand against a lined wall and snapped my picture. I smiled for the camera. I saw no reason to frown. Maybe if people saw my picture later they would realize I was friendly. For all I know it might have been my only chance to testify on EARTH to my being's friendliness. For all I know one of these more violent humans that I saw here might have killed me. It is pretty bad when even your good guys, the police, have to wear tools that can kill."

"Their guns?" I asked.

"Yes, and their sticks, and the special training they are trained with that makes even their bodies lethal weapons. I understand the reason for this considering the violence levels of your criminals, but it is sad, very sad, and does not bode well for your long term survival chances.

"Then they pressed my fingers in ink and made impressions on a little card. I was very worried about this! I was also worried that I could not help looking worried. I was pretty sure from robert's behavior in general and the sudden way he stiffened up at this inside of me that he expected a print check to show that he had DONE something! So was I concerned the police would notice my concern and become suspicious. I needn't have worried. Their own behavior was enough to upset me. As they were doing my right thumb a harmless cockroach scurried out from under the desk. Without so much as the blink of an eye, pat, who up to then had seemed pretty civilized to me, stepped on it.

I felt its pain and its little life force leave its crumpled body. I winced. 'Savages!' I shouted! 'You killed that fellow being without even an eye blink!'

" 'It's just a roach, prot!'

" 'It is a being!' I insisted, 'It had a life and it wanted to live it!'

" 'It's a roach, prot!' Sam added,

" 'I know what it is!' I was a little mad now. 'I do know what a roach is. I have been on your planet steadily now for four and a half years. Humans think because a being has six legs instead of two, it is all right to snuff its life away without so much as an apology!'

"They started laughing. That made me furious! 'You ought not to be so quick to kill them. Did you know they are radiation proof? When you humans finally do destroy yourselves maybe evolution can start over with them!'

"What sam said to me next really distressed me, 'Guess what, prot, the orkan man is coming in a few hours and so soon they will all be dead!'

" 'GENOCIDE!' I shouted.

"But they only laughed.

"My outburst was childish, I admit. It did no good. I can't change homo sapiens. It is a bit crazy of me that I ever even try! But look where I am living, ay giselle? It is the right place for me! My outburst may have done some good though. They were so amused they forgot to do a computer search on robert's prints. Whatever horrible thing he did, at that time even I didn't know, remained a secret.

"I found out later there were no prints of robert on record. He had been declared dead.

"Then they took my belt and shoelaces off of me and grabbed me firmly by the arms and led me to a jail cell. They told me, 'get in.' I did. They clanged the door shut behind me. That is an awful feeling, and an awful sound! As much as I wanted help for robert it was a horrible thing for me to have to sacrifice my freedom to get it. They never once asked, 'Would you mind going into a hospital for a while, prot?' I would have said. 'Nope. Don't mind.' Then they could have sat me in a chair in a nice waiting room and I could have read magazines until the white coats came to take me away, ha ha. Instead they just assumed I was going to be hostile to being helped.

"A few minutes later after being put in the cage, a female homo sapiens came to see me. Her name was Dr. Mandis. She said, 'I am dr. sanders. I understand from what the police have been telling me that you are from outer space. Is that right?'

"I said, 'I am from K-PAX. Since K-PAX floats in space you could say I am from outer space, but since EARTH also floats in space you also could say you are from outer space. I travel through space but I am not from there. K-PAX is a WORLD, It has beautiful plants, tall mountains, gorgeous sky and loving beings just as your WORLD does. I wouldn't want to live in outer space any more than you would.'

"She asked me, 'Do you hear voices that no one else can hear?'

"I said, 'No, I do not own a cell phone.'

"She laughed at that and wrote something down on the clipboard she was carrying and said, 'Thanks, prot, I needed a laugh. They are going to love you where you are going.'

" 'And where is that?' I asked.

" 'To a hospital where they can help you.'

"That pleased me. I smiled. I checked with robert. I thought that would have cheered him up. I couldn't quite tell if it did or not. At least he wasn't as stiff as he usually was, but his eyes remained shut and he still wouldn't say a word to me.

"She asked me if I had ever tried to harm myself.

"I said, 'Yes, I came to this PLANET didn't I? Though in my defense I must say I didn't know it would be such a harmful place to be for me.'

"She asked me if that was the only way I had tried to harm myself, by coming to the PLANET.

"I said, 'Other than practically starving myself because I have lost my appetite? No.'

"She wrote that down, too. I could tell this really concerned her. I was relieved it concerned her because it concerned me, too.

"She asked me more questions, 'Who is the president?'

"I told her.

"Then she asked me 'Number of fingers?' 'Day of the week?' etc. All that usual 'is he crazy or not crazy?' type stuff they always ask me.

It is getting to the point where I can answer those questions in my sleep. Maybe I just ought to run off a press release and hand it to all the mental health professionals when they ask me those things. It would save us all a lot of time!" Prot grinned at me.

"She asked me, 'Are you willing to self commit so you can get help for your anorexia?'

"I said, 'with pleasure.'

"I could tell she liked that answer. She wrote more on her clipboard and left. After that I was taken to bellevue."

So what was that like, prot, being transferred from the police station to Bellevue?"

Prot smiled at me, "Bellevue was fun and interesting. Just the fact somebody, anybody was interested in me got me to eating again. The anorexia went away without any treatment at all other than knowing I finally was going to get some treatment, ANY KIND. I kind of pulled a 'howlin mad murdock' on them there."


He explained to me, "I was busy studying the behavior of a cockroach and making friends with it when pat came to my cage and told me, 'They're moving you to bellevue, prot.' "

"This didn't surprised me since the lady doctor had said that a hospital was going to be my destination, and it had been my intention to get rob and me into such a place. But I did have the sense not to tell her that. I affected surprise, as if it never crossed my mind that I headed for where I knew darn well I was headed. I quickly tossed the cockroach, who I had named 'henry,' under the cot, where it would have at least a fighting chance of not being stepped on, and prepared to leave."

"I would have loved to have written the whole police station episode down while it was still fresh in my mind. I missed my notebooks. But with a pencil they would have been useless to me."

"So two people came walking up the hall. Observation of their behavior would lead me to believe they had done this before. They were exhibiting the type of behavior I call pal-ing."

"Pal-ing?" I asked.

"Like I try to do with the beings who I know around here. They were being friendly to the police beings as if they had met them before. I decided to try to pal too. I grinned at them, 'Soooo, you are the guys in the white coats. What you are wearing does not look very white to me. So, you are out of uniform!' I made a typical homo sapiens/chimpanzee play face expression. In other words I grinned at them."

"They actually laughed but their laughter was a bit nervous. It occurred to me they were scared of me. I know with most life forms if you put yourself in a lower position, and keep your hands still and pressed tight to your body you look less threatening. So I sat back down on my cot and put my hands on my knees. I said. 'I won't hurt you. So where's my straitjacket?'"

"The taller, brawnier of the two was named Jack Peterson and I never managed to be very friendly with him. I think his back was hurting him. The shorter of the two seemed to be my best hope for negotiating better treatment. I found out he was named Tim Sandleson. He has three kids named Samantha, Bobby and Tommy. He lives in the Bronx and his favorite thing to do is something called watching pro wrestling. I know what wrestling is. Robert did that but I am not sure what the pro part means. Surely homo sapiens do not wrestle for money, do they? You can tell me some time. Anyway he...."

I knew here if I didn't stop him prot would tell me more than I wanted to know about all the habits, loves, beliefs, favorite tv shows, and favorite foods of these orderlies he had a chance to inter-react with for only a couple of hours. It was amazing how much this supposedly "unbalanced individual" could learn about anyone in a few minutes. If I had his interviewing skills I would be the best reporter in the world! But because of our time constraints I wanted only to hear what it had been like for prot, himself.

I interrupted him, "So prot, never mind that. What did you say when you asked him where the straitjacket was?"

"Sandleson stared at me thoughtfully. 'We actually have one in the ambulance but I don't think you are going to need it.'

"I decided I liked this guy. They did put handcuffs back on me, which didn't bother me. If it made them feel secure to think they had me constrained, I wouldn't do a thing to pop their delusion.

"They held my arms tightly as we moved down the hall. I said, 'Whoa, you guys! I am not rebelling! But my pants are! You need to hold my pants, not my arms!'

"As if on cue my beltless pants fell down right then. I had, after all, lost a lot of weight.

"I grinned at them, 'See?' They started laughing. And they pulled up my pants for me, for I surely could not do it with handcuffs on. And then as they walked me down the hall they each kept one hand firmly on my arms and their other hand on my pants!

"They helped me climb in the ambulance, because, giselle, it is very hard to climb up into an ambulance with your hands fastened behind your back. I asked them if I was supposed to lie down on the stretcher. Sandleson said, ' No, not unless you want to.' I told them, 'I'd rather not. I'd rather look out the window at all the tall buildings! Gosh you american homo sapiens start a building, you don't know when to stop!'

"They obtained amusement from that statement.

"I asked them if they were going to give me a sedative. Sandleson said, 'You don't seem to need one.'

"This was a relief to me. I really did want to be awake and conscious to enjoy and study the experience of being committed. I continued to make small talk. I grinned, 'So have you ever had the experience of getting to abduct an alien before?'

"They both laughed at that one! Sandleson told me gently, 'Prot, we've done it dozens of times before!'

"I was amazed. 'Just how many times has your planet been visited?' I have figured out since then a lot of EARTH born lunatics have the delusion they are from outer space, a little fact that I had not realized, but it did work in my favor, I suppose, to helping me get to come here and meet up with you and dr. brewer so I could get help for robert and myself."

Prot continued, "But at the time I thought they meant it literally. If other beings were coming here, WHERE were their reports? I thought I had the planet pretty much to myself, and consequently I have come to that conclusion again. But at the time, that statement honestly surprised me.

"The ambulance ride was exhilarating. I don't get to ride in cars much. When we got to bellevue, I saw it was another big scary american skyscraper. I asked, 'I must admit to a certain amount of trepidation. Just what are they going to do to me in there?'

"They tried to comfort me, for which I must thank them sometime. Sandleson told me, 'They'll talk to you to try and figure out what is bothering you, and give you some medicine to calm you, and clear your mind, and they'll give you a room of your own though you might have a roommate, and you'll have craft projects and art therapy to keep you busy. It won't be so bad.'

"'Will they be able to cope with my vegetarian diet? That really worries me.'

"Sandleson nodded, 'Oh yes, prot. They get all sorts of people here, orthodox jews, muslims, hindus, people with food allergies, and plenty of vegetarians. You just let them know you are one before they bring you a food tray. You'll do all right.'

"I smiled at them. They helped me out of the ambulance and held the door for me while I walked inside and looked around.

"Sandleson stood with me while peterson talked to the admitting psychiatric nurse about me. I saw him make that gesture with his hands, the circle to the head gesture, that means 'he's crazy,' and he looked over my way and nodded. I was still in handcuffs so I couldn't wave but I smiled and nodded back at both of them.

Sandleson told me to sit down, so I did, though it is not comfortable with hand cuffs on.

"Then we waited and waited and waited. I suppose if I'd been making a fuss they would have got to me sooner. I saw some come in screaming and hollering. These were hauled off immediately, but I didn't think it would do rob or me any good to make a fuss since those individuals were being constrained on stretchers, and anyway I didn't feel like making a fuss."

Finally it was my turn. A nurse came over and started asking me many questions, most of which I couldn't answer. For instance 'I have no social security number! I am not from around here. I am from K-PAX. On K-PAX there are only 15 million of us, so we don't need numbers. We have this really weird custom! For identification purposes we use names!'

"She asked me for my name. I told her, 'prot.'

"She asked what gene asked, 'Is that your first name or your last?'

"I told her what I told gene, 'prot is all of a name I have.'

"She didn't look happy, but, giselle, what could I do? Make something up on the spot? That wouldn't be honest. Other beings are supposed to name you, not you, yourself.' "

I asked, "Who named you prot, prot?"

"I don't remember, giselle. It happened very young in my childhood. It was obvious to everyone from the moment I popped out of my mother's womb and hit the ground running, my one big talent was not staying put for any length of time. I was all over K-PAX before I was knee high to a korm. Now we dremers do tend to wander but it was excessive behavior in me. I was actually a little famous for it such as fame goes on a world where no one worships celebrities. Prot means 'sojourner,' in an ancient version of pax-o. I do think it fits me.

"They asked for my insurance. I told them truthfully, 'I don't I have any. We don't need it on K-PAX and I can't afford to get any here.'

"She swore something under her breath and then, 'It figures.' And she wrote a bunch of stuff on her clip board. Then they gave me a blood test. At least they had to take off my handcuffs to do that. Sandleson and peterson sidled up to me as if expecting physical resistance but all my resistance was verbal. I explained I did not use illegal drugs. She gave me a look like she didn't believe me and continued with the blood test. I gritted my teeth and put up with it. It hurt but not like what they did to me with needles later.

Then sandleson and peterson took me by the arms again and led me down the hall. I chirped, "Where are we going now you guys?"

They said, "We are going to clean you up.

Now I was quite grubby from my intenarant life style so this pleased me. "Great!" I said.

They looked surprised at that, but it was like they had this routine all worked out, on how to deal with new patients and they didn't know how to vary it to fit unusual reactions. They expected me to resist I suppose because so many patients resisted. So peterson said to me, "And don't give us any trouble or we can make it bad for you."

"I stared at them, 'Why would I want to give you any trouble?'"

Peterson growled, "Because we can tell you are very crazy.

"So," I said playfully, "What is my diagnosis doctor?"

"Paranoid schizophrenia!" Peterson snapped. "You are one sick puppy!"

Bless him! If that diagnoses stuck I knew robert would get months of care! I grinned at them, "So, who is it I'm supposed to think is out to get me?"

Sandleson gazed at me thoughtfully, "Since you think you are an alien I suppose the human race.

I gave them a loopy grin, "You are assuming I think you are human! Maybe I think you are fellow dremers."

They laughed at that. We came to the shower room and they gave me more help getting out of my clothes than I really cared to have. "What will happen to them?" I asked.

Sandleson said gently, "We will have them cleaned, dried and folded and returned back to you.

I wasn't sure he wasn't just humoring me, but actually that is what they did. But for all I know I might have been kissing my clothes goodby.

They tried to take off my glasses. I grabbed them and put them back on my face. "No!" I said. "In this one little thing I will resist you. Because light hurts my eyes. If you want me to take these off dim the lights in here."

Well they did so, so I took them off and set them on the soap tray, and they turned on the water. "Brrr! Hotter! I exclaimed, I reached for the knob but they stopped me. Apparently patients weren't allowed to tough the controls themselves. So they adjusted it to hotter until I told them it was warm enough. They scrubbed me all over. Missed a spot!" I chirped pointing to my back. They scrubbed there real good too. As they worked I carried on conversation to put them at ease. "You know while I was in Japan I wanted a public bath but I couldn't afford it. This is almost just a nice except the scenery isn't as pretty."

I meant the actual feng shue of the bathing room, but from their laughter I gathered they thought I meant who was doing the scrubbing.

After that they helped me slip on a hospital issue robe and pants, which I wore until I got my own threads back the next morning.

After my cleansing sandleson and peterson escorted me into a little room which was to be my home for the next two days, and Sandleson gave me the thumbs up sign and winked at me and said, 'You are going to do all right, prot!' I smiled and gestured to him as they left.

"I looked around my new environment. It had a comfy bed and a window with wire mesh over it. It also had an enormous window out to the hall. "I gazed though it. A man was standing in the hallway outside the window with a clip board. Later on I found out this was dr. penshaw. I am a friendly being. I smiled and waved at him. I tried to make eye contact but he wouldn't make eye contact back with me. Instead he got a startled look on his face. He seemed to think this was really weird behavior and he wrote furiously in his clip board.

"His behavior left me puzzled. Usually smiling and waving is considered normal homo sapiens behavior. I did not realize this window that I was looking at was supposed to be a two way mirror. He was supposed to be able to see me but I wasn't supposed to be able to see him. But I didn't know this and only found out the next day from questioning some of the other patients. With my light sensitive vision I could see him quite clearly. But to him it looked like I was just waving and smiling at my own reflection, crazy behavior for sure!"

Prot grinned like the cat who ate the canary. "Since my goal was to try and get us committed this certainly worked out in our favor! "I decided to take a nap. It had been a tiring day.

"He watched me as I went to bed, then I noticed as I drifted off, that he left. I suppose my sleeping habits were of no interest to them. A sleeping alien, or a lunatic, or a normal human sleep about the same. What did you expect, me to sleep in a closet upside down like mork from ORK?"

Prot grinned.

"I woke up after a couple of hours, refreshed. This was one of the first times in my life I ever got to sleep on a bed. On K-PAX we do not use them. On K-PAX if you are sleeping against something soft it is probably a nice furry ap who decided to snooze with you. And of course during my wilderness years on EARTH I seldom had a bed. Well, beds are soft! And I do appreciate that! It is one of those rare areas where EARTH customs are superior to K- PAX customs.

"Well then a nice nurse brought me a tray of food. But E-YUCK! It had my favorite! (Here prot made a face), 'slabs of dead cow.' I almost threw up. It was my own fault. I had forgotten to mention my herbivorism.

"She saw my alarm and asked me what was wrong. I told her, 'I don't eat my fellow beings.' She said, 'Oh you are a vegetarian. Well, we can cope with that. Would you like a nice salad instead?'

"I nodded and she brought me one. It occurred to me that maybe I would have to give the kitchen staff lessons on nutrition. I need just a much protein as EARTH beings do but it must not come from my fellow beings. As it was, I found out later, they had the nutritional part of feeding a plant eater down pat, and would have brought me more substantial fare if they'd been forewarned. It is just their culinary techniques they lacked. But I count my blessings. The food was free and plentiful, and the nurses who brought it to me got to liking me.

"I realized as I ate that I had my appetite back! Ironic since the salad wasn't really all that good. But the thing is, the nurse had taken an interest in me, almost been my friend. I had been friendless for a very long time. The human whose body I was inhabiting wasn't treating me like a friend anymore. He wouldn't speak to me."

Prot looked very sad here.

"I stayed in my room that night, relaxing. I had felt a flood of relief wash over me the minute I realized they weren't going to just kick us out again right away. But I also realized my toehold in the psychiatric patient track was not set in stone yet. If I acted too normal, it would be out the door again. I had to learn very quickly how to act just crazy enough, or it was arrivederci alien!

"The next morning my clothes were returned to me, except for my belt and shoelaces, and another nice nurse brought me a tray with a little cup full of orange juice and some pancakes and maple syrup! I felt like I was in heaven. I grinned at her, 'Hey thanks! Do you want to share them with me?'

"She laughed and said no, but If I wanted company I could go out into the common room and eat with the other patients.

"It is a little hard to carry a food tray and hold your pants up at the same time, while walking without shoe laces, but I managed.

"I cautiously walked out of my little room, down the hallway and into the common room, determined to learn all I could about mental illness from my fellow inmates.

I found out the other patients were quite willing to eat with me. So I learned my place immediately. The staff was willing to act friendly but for a long time my only REAL friends were among my fellow patients.

"They were all very interesting for me, and vice versa. I had never been around crazy people much before. I decided I liked them very much, much more so than I like so called NORmal homo sapiens!"

Prot did not grin here. He meant it.

"So I ate my pancakes and gazed around the common room for a potential role model. I needed 'crazy lessons,' and quickly!

"I had a wide assortment to chose from. So after I finished my breakfast, I picked one fellow who was standing facing the wall and carrying on quite a conversation with thin air. I could understand him, of course, but I figured to his fellow homo sapiens he would do as a possible model. I asked him to turn around and face me as he talked, and he did so. I stared into his face intently, studying his every facial expression and gesture, and memorizing his patter, and he stared back into my face.

"That alone spooked the ward nurse, that I could get him to turn around and make eye contact with me. Apparently they had been having trouble getting him to do that!

"So I stared at my model and asked him, 'Why are you talking to the wall?'

"He told me in so many words, 'so they will keep me. I don't want to go back out in the streets again. It is cold out there!'

"It occurred to me then, that if robert had been cooperating with me I would have had our commitment easily. But I just didn't feel like lying. I hadn't heard robert's voice in months, so later when doctor penshaw asked me if I heard voices I had to truthfully say no. A shame really because that would have made it so easy!"

He gazed at me thoughtfully, "But maybe it's better I didn't because then they for sure would have kept me on the drug track!

"Anyway I kept studying my test subject and others on the ward.

"I was relaxing on the ward being gently pressured to learn to play chess from a tourette's syndrome sufferer who I am sure did not stay long since that is not a committable illness, when two orderlies came to take me to my first psychiatric interview."

Prot grinned, "I must add here that my fellow inmates seemed to get a big kick out of the fact that I couldn't play chess. It's the Mr. Spock syndrome, you know. To EARTHlings any so called alien that can't play chess must be a fake! Well I can now. I learned, of course, but most anyone can whup the pants off me! And that still amuses homo sapiens to this day!

But chess is such a militaristic game! It is like a little war. I do not wish to learn to make war with homo sapiens. I only wish to picnic with you guys!

"So the orderlies came and got me and they took me to see dr penshaw. I walked down the hall like a gunslinger, hands holding up my pants, while they held tightly to my arms.

"Much of the interview went very much like it did with good old dr b, with one exception! He didn't believe me."

Prot frowned, "I don't mean he didn't believe I was an alien. I mean he didn't believe I believed I was an alien!

"He asked me why I kept insisting I was an alien.

"I told him, 'because I am.'

"He said, 'Oh come on, prot, if that is your name! We have been observing you! You are much too calm and socially skilled to be psychotic! In fact you are the most socially skilled individual ever to try for free room and board in this hospital ever! The nurses say you even got patients to open up to you whom we haven't been able to get to say one word to us. Really I wish you WERE staying with us, as a psychotherapist! You need psychiatric confinement like I need a second head!'

"Oops! My attempt to take 'crazy lessons' had backfired! For while I was observing my fellow patients, successfully interacting with them, I was also being observed! I also had to bite my tongue here not to make a joke and say, 'that could be arranged.' No doubt my ability to make jokes would have been considered a sign of normalcy too!

"Instead I pointed out my severe self imposed weight loss.

"He snorted, 'The nurses report you wolfed down a salad last night and pancakes this morning. You aren't anorexic. You are just homeless, and want someone else to take responsibility for feeding you. Get a job!'

"'Wolfed down.' I said. 'That is a peculiar expression to use for a harmless herbivore such as myself. However, I, as you put it, wolfed my salad down last night because it was the first time I have had an appetite in weeks.'

"He snorted, 'I so disbelieve that you have anorexia I am not even making an entry in your files that you said you did!'

"I realized we were in deep danger of being tossed out into the streets again. I felt my heart breaking! Was I never going to get help for my little robin and myself? I know I had studied my fellow patients with the intention of faking insanity to stay in, but I just couldn't do it. I liked dr. penshaw in spite of his skepticism, and I just couldn't make myself want to deceive him. I did to a certain degree though because I valued protecting robert over complete truthfulness. I told him the reason I wished to be committed was, 'I am so homesick for K- PAX if somebody doesn't let me talk about it, I WILL starve myself whether you believe me or not! Also I do not think my report on EARTH would be complete without my studying how you treat such outcasts as crazy people and psychiatrists. That's another reason I want to get in.'

"He seemed to get a kick out it that I called psychiatrists outcasts too. But I have observed there is truth to that statement. He must have too, at least subconsciously, because he laughed. He would not have been laughing unless the idea made him anxious and his anxiety indicates he believed me whether he wanted to or not.

"Anyway he shook his head and told me, 'prot, if that is your name, you are crazy like a fox! No happy warm time in our little recreational facilities at taxpayers' expense for you. Back out on the streets you go!'

"Then I had an epiphany! I gazed at him earnestly and told him, 'Sir, I do not need your help or the help of any EARTH beings, to avoid cold. If I want to get warm, I would simply travel south. I do not even need alien technology to do this. I have feet.

"'But since you require a more convincing demonstration of my desperate need for your services, I will now demonstrate to you, that I could have, should I have chose to, convinced you to lock me up and throw away the proverbial key! For precisely the next ten minutes I shall affect such behavior that you will be calling for the orderlies to come rescue you!'

"I knew what the clock behind me said, but for emphasis I turned around and stared at it. I said, 'Starting now and lasting precisely ten minutes.

" 'Then I jumped on top of his desk and screeched! Then I shouted, "Here I go..'

I then launched into the best word salad I could come up with on the spore of the moment. Fortunately I think on my feet!

"Let us praise the up, the down, down, the strangeness and the charm, the entire bander snatch-ched brood of tiny particles that dance amongst the atoms and the souls of sinners lost before they even knew of life!

Be not melancholy alien! At last, no more let me be bitter and sarcastic! No more hit by endless pain, but full of ecstacy at death that frees the sad sad EARTH from her devouring masses and frees the bloody skies of MARtian longings in the cold and bitter SUN of EARTH and wind and flaming fire! I've seen rings around the MOONS of K-PAX. Like a dozen saturn rosied red with blood of sacrificial carelessness, her beauties chopped upon the dawning fingers of humanity miserably a time too late and yet too soon, for man won't sacrifice his greediness or kindness both, they kill, while dremers die of caring not. We too have every good but hope!

Death cocks his ears for anything that pounces steadfastly on heaven or on EARTH-light or K-PAX shadows of the suffering masse quantities in infinite reaches of eternity! Insipid the scoundrel greediness on EARTH who for his maniacal hunger feasts on flesh of one another shunning horribly the good good greens of their blue forever! But K-PAX never tastes the tender core of a lettuce, tomatoes, radishes or sweet onions both blissfully unaware of never ending neutrons dizzy laws of maniacal motion! On EARTH they kill each others soul while K-PAX gently sleeps to death of rotting peace and safety beyond what we can bare! The one to die by too much sex the other by a lack of it, yet both will taste the sleep of death!

And what of WORLDS that never were, and UNIVERSES lifeless? Of sperm and egg that fell like rot upon the ground? For if you die before you're born and know not of life's sweet agonizing kisses and defeats, what form of amness do you have? Are you alive? Were you alive? Will you ever be alive? Do godlings know of what your wayness would have been if you'd be thus and so and too and fro and dancing like a batty butterfly across the killing fields of glorious death!

I ask you pleadingly please sir, tell me straight will robin and the blue bird soar again above the emerald hills of peace and war or will we pluck our entwined souls and fall our feathers bloodied to the cold cold ground, and starve amongst a palace full of food while others with their greed in glorious unbalanced gluttony, gobble grandly of the suffocating feast of follied friendship and despair?

Oh yes! Will the EARTH, MOON and MARS and K-Pax dance together through the ebony night or die the one of peace the ot'r of war, yet both to be destroyed by times unmercyless kiss of doom and death and dank despair? The UNIVERSE like mad accordion squawks first in then out and none to escape its careless breathing through the ages of eternity! On and on it goes. It never stops. We ride and yet no door exists to leave its mad mad motion sickness in forever-fifth dimensions's sorrows! Will FlORA then spin the only one to sense our past and ache for our dead future doomed to never never lands of snow and sorrow?

For K-pax's purple and scarlet mountains haunt like a dark and velvet jewel case a twilight world of peace it offers nothing to his brother-souls but peace, and satisfying themselves with much less tasty leaves while EARTHS grand produce rots for lack of caring nuff to beam it to the starving masses of the trace existing sad sad world of blue and white gassed WORLD! Neither cares enough to live so death is certain!

The ONE not trying hard a tall the OTHER trying too hard and thus they both shall fall beneath the trampling hooves of this horse or another's,wings! Neither has them high enough to soar though one might seem so yet they both shall die!

What yokels are these jokers who for hearing not their shepherdess gaia who screams at them but they are deaf to hear her frenzied call of action to the brink of tearless sadness glorious joy or purifying peace of doom that shadows never land beyond the mountains of the mystic silver MOONS of burning brilliant MARS!

No never never never will they polish silver of their Moon or put silver mist on those mountains made of shimmering gold, Neither says we of the sadness sir the one who for his half, his host never more pares neither peach nor onion peel oranges artichokes carrots or at any hour cares wits at all about his starving belly, letting I instead be the one to make the call to eat or fart or poop or pee, or even breath! Tis bitter cold shrew's bliss of nightmares cast upon manhattans winds of time, eternity and sorrow sweet with agony, for by the riverbank he died and I was born a lamb amongst the snarling wolves of thought and plotting qualities of mass destructive nuclear bombs and indifferent callowness towards those too weak to live or soar or sing or touch the bleeding skies of windy angry MARS!

Don't they know these loonies that at th-e universal end when the fatal and prompt hour hustles when the minutes open that count saved life will be for who had love made mad as hats and coats upon tomorrow's mad forever-dawn? To come to EARTH to save a hurting Human so withdrawn and caring not is madness, follie touched with flame of lunacy a plenty in my hurting alien mind and heart! And yet like chains of steal my beating heart can't free myself from loves sweet follie. Dawns a new day? I think not. Unless the streets of thirty first and forty two live to their promise made on celliloid of plastic coated miracles anew!

Oh wraith and bliss, that you framed the fancied follies of a new york christmas ran amuck by alien longings in the cold cold snow of deep and doomed manhattan mountains full of souls and concrete! Angels dance amongst the concrete yet I know their secret weaknesses and marvel that they still can do the glorious things they do and caring not that failure beckons! Still they try. No others do. For humans know of many things, but not the things that kill them.

Asteroids! You know not of them how they couch upon the doorsteps of your PLANETS eco-terror from the sapphire skies and dooming dinosaurs of flesh and blood and thought and song! For while you prim with makeups gleaned from bunny rabbits red and burning eyes and spend your PLANETS rotting wealth to make your cars go fast and sleek above the rocks like tigers wait their moment quick to pounce and gnaw and waste the entire lot of you to dinosaur like nothingness of never more and Never land!

Let us together breach the unsufferable void of ignorance and knowledge learned in ways that make it false when truth would best be served by lies and lies by truth! I like whales who dance amongst the froth and foam of malice not, and knowing more than most and yet no hands to change the horrors of the fate they see, like lambs upon the railroad tracks the train approaching bright with beautiful steal death and birds before the snake and fangs of future trauma seen but not avoidable? Oh perish not the Sentients of time and space and yet how caught we are like warps in traps of sweet soda pored before the potted plants and rocks of farmers gardens on the Mighty MOON! For there you'll make it, maybe MARS but Never K-PAX and the WORLDS beyond unless your heart is gentled by the sands of time! I see and yet in madness mighty no one listens hard to what I have to say!"

"Then precisely ten minutes after I started my howlin' mad murdock I sat down again with my arms folded calmly and nonthreateningly at my side. 'See?' I said, 'I stopped exactly when I said I would.'

"Dr. penshaw was staring at me wide eyed!

"I grinned at him, 'Are you convinced now?'

"Slowly he nodded and wrote something in his little pad. He swallowed and said, 'Well, ah prot, anyone who is willing to work as hard as you just did to get yourself right where we want you, must need to be here! So Ok. I have some papers for you to sign.'

"I stared him straight in the eye, 'Sir, I will sign anything you want me to!'

"He slid some papers and a pen over to me and I looked at what I was signing. It was temporary commitment papers giving Long Island Psychiatric Institute the right to confine, test and treat me for a seven-day period of time. That worried me a little bit. Apparently still no one had any long term commitment to long term committing me! I started to sign them.

"Dr. penshaw reached over and grabbed my hand, 'Think carefully, prot! Life in a mental hospital is not the free picnic you homeless people imagine it to be. You are giving up your freedom.'

"I gazed at him calmly, 'Sir I have no freedom! I mean I have physical freedom but I do not have it up here.' I pointed to my skull. 'I would rather my body were confined than I lack for one more minute, the freedom to live as what I truly am, a dremer from the planet K-PAX! I want OUT of the closet! I do not want to try and pass for human any more!'

"He warned me, 'We'll pump you full of powerfully sedating antipsychotic medicine!'

"I was thinking to myself, maybe that will help robert, but I couldn't say that to him. Instead I said: 'I'll call that an experiment. I am truly convinced I am from K-PAX, but if I wake up one morning and realize I am not, truly I will be shattered, but if that happens, I WILL LET YOU FOLKS TRY AND HELP ME.'

"His face softened a little bit at that. But he stilled tried to talk me out of signing 'my freedoms away,' 'You know, prot, you are such an interesting case that they are going to throw the whole battery of tests at you. They'll give you every medical, neurological and psychiatric test we know of and probably think up some new ones just for you. Are you ready to be our lab rat, and submit yourself to the worst we humans can do to you, oh alien being from the planet K-PAX?' He said the last part like he knew I knew I didn't believe it.

"I gave him the toothiest grin I could manage. 'Oh absolutely! Bring them on! I LIKE tests. The more I learn about myself the more I like myself!'

"He got a startled look on his face like he hadn't expected quite that answer. He let go of my hand. I scribbled 'prot' on the papers, grinned gratefully at him and said, 'Thank you, sir, very much. I really appreciate it. Now I can finish my report.'

"He signaled me to leave and I did so still holding up my pants. The orderlies took me back to my room and I chatted with them for a while and they waited with me until the ambulance came and they transferred me to two more orderlies who took me to long island psychiatric institute.

"The trip in the ambulance was similar except this time they didn't handcuff me. I guess by now they realized I didn't mind going. But they still hadn't given me my possessions back and that troubled me. The police had even took my pencil, the last of over 30 my nameless mysterious benefactor who I later learned was harry had left me. I kind of felt sentimental about that pencil. It had after all belonged to beatrice, robert's mother, who I kind of liked, even though she didn't know I existed.

"But I didn't feel sentimental enough about it not to use it for its manufactured purpose, if I'd had it, which was to write my report, which I couldn't do now that some homo sapiens had my notebooks. Still, it was something. Maybe I could prick my finger some way and write on toilet paper. That would surely convince them I needed psychiatric care!"

Prot grinned. "So at long island it was more of the same. More questions I couldn't answer from a sardonic admitting nurse, another blood test. What did they expect it to show differently from the one I had just had two days before? And another carefully escorted walk down a long hall to a little room, except this one didn't have a two way mirror.

"The orderlies were named frank johnson and john taylor. I am glad I met them and made friends before I found out what they were going to do to me for the next 2 days, because if I had not met them first under these relatively untraumatic circumstances, I don't think I could have been as friendly to them as I was.

"I had barely had time to take a few breaths and think to myself, 'Ok prot you can do this, you can do this,' when frank and john made their first visit to me with a needle. For some reason stuff going in hurts more than blood going out. Other than the needles my stay there was a pleasant one and I have no complaints.

"Other than the blood tests, I had never in my life had a shot before. So you must imagine what it was like for me. These two nice fellows came in the nice little room where they had put me, and said they had some medicine for me. Now robert had taken a few pills for colds and stuff, while I was visiting him, so I knew how to take pills, and that was what I expected I was going to get. Imagine my surprise when they asked me to pull down my pants!

"I'm thinking to myself, 'Oh oh. I'm not going to like this!

"As I said, except for the blood tests I had never had a shot before, but I had heard from robert just how bad they were. Even if I had not had his first hand horror story, I am perfectly capable of figuring out if you jab cold hard pieces of steel past sensitive nerve endings it is going to be painful. And it was, worse than I thought it was going to be! Much worse than the blood tests! I hollered in pain and surprise.

"Frank tried to comfort me, 'Now prot it wasn't that bad.'

"I glared at him fighting back tears. 'A lot you know! That hurt! I can't believe how much it hurt!'

"They studied me carefully as I rubbed my sore butt and gingerly pulled my pants back over the wound. 'You act just like a little kid that has never had a shot before.'

" 'Little kid,' no. 'Never had a shot before,' yes. I'm from K-PAX, a planet billions of years ahead of EARTH in all areas. Do you think we'd still be maintaining such a primitive and SAVAGE medical practice?'

"They obviously didn't believe me about being from K-PAX so they tried to reason with me, like I was the crazy one here. 'The medicine will help you, prot. It will calm you down.'"

" 'CALM ME DOWN?' I am embarrassed to admit I affected a rather poor Earth custom here and actually shouted! 'Calm me down,' (I tried to say it again more calmly), 'Here is a bit of irony for you frank and john. Before you stabbed me I WAS perfectly calm!' I glared at them.

"They started laughing at that, which I suppose was at least something. Humans don't always respect who they laugh at, but in most cases it makes them like you so they try to treat you right.

"So then they left me to my little room, and my thoughts, and my sore butt. I checked out the plumbing. Adequate, but the seat was sure hard to my sore butt. I inspected my wound in the bathroom mirror. Amazing! I couldn't even tell exactly where they had jabbed me, because the pain was spreading to the rest of the cheek. There wasn't even a little red dot to show for the agony I had been through but oh my how it hurt! Ouch! Amazing!

"I gingerly lay down on my bed and felt the medicine flow through robert's nervous system. It was making me a bit dizzy and fuzzy minded. I lay there studying the feeling. I did not try to fight it. It was indeed quite soothing."

"It didn't seem to be helping robert in anyway, except I felt a little less tension in him."

"I lay there concentrating very carefully on my vivid memories of K-PAX. If my beautiful WORLD was going to suddenly slip away from me like a ship disappearing on the horizon, I wanted to be very aware, very mindful of the exact moment when she was going to be gone to me, so I could bid her a tearful fare well. What would it feel like to suddenly discover one was really from a different WORLD than one had always thought? I had no memories of an EARTH childhood other than robert's. Would I really suddenly acquire such memories? It was a very scary very fascinating feeling, laying there. I steeled myself to be ready for it. As if it were a voyage I was going to take, one that I was not ready for, a little like death I think.

I of course was quite relieved to find out I have no such EARTH memories. I'm just from K-PAX that's all. I always have been all along. But was I ever relieved! It took me a few days to be sure that the medication wasn't going to rob me of my WORLD, but it never did. It was just nice and calming. But alas, it didn't do robert any good real either, and there in the end even dr siegal realized it wasn't doing me any good, and that's why by everybody's mutual consent I was transferred to mpi.

"Another nice nurse came and brought me a peanut butter sandwich, and a lime soda. This almost made up for the pain in my butt! I was happy. At least the part about my herbivorism must have made it into my permanent medical records. I wouldn't be faced with any more slabs of dead cow flesh.

For the next 2 days every two hours it was, 'Ok prot, time for your thorazine.' 'Thorazine time again.' Can't you at least wait until you've HAD your shot to start crying? Thorazine time again, prot.' I know now what porcupines must feel like when they make love, and I thought we dremers had it bad!"

Prot grinned a little ruefully at me, and rubbed his butt as if it still was hurting.

Frank and john were really nice beings, but they were forced by the shitty system to torture their patients. They didn't like hurting me, but it they had, 'orders to do so.' When will you homo sapiens learn to take personal responsibility for you own behavior and quit following orders!"

He frowned at me and looked at me as if he expected an answer

And I am thinking to myself of Nazi Germany and other such incidences You are right prot!

Prot grinned ruefully and admitted to me, "Those two did do something nice for me. As a newly admitted mental patient of course, they had taken away my razor. Well Robert's beard grows with or with out an alien in his brain, and with or without confinement in a mental hospital. So every morning frank or john would shave me.

After four and half years of doing it myself it was a strange experience to have some one else do it for me. I told them, "Thank you! But where were you 4 and a half years ago when I kept cutting myself?"

They asked me sympathetically if I had been trying to harm myself. I told them, "No. Just clumsy. I had never had to shave before so it was a hard thing for me to learn to do."

They stared at me as if I had just announced your EARTH MOON really was made out of green cheese! Frank grinned at me, "You know prot you are one of the weirdest patients we've ever had here, but we like you!"

I told them truthfully, "I like you'll too but will you please quit jabbing me!"

It wasn't all torture. They gave me lots and lots of tests. I enjoyed them. It was something to do. They were mentally stimulating, and I enjoy learning about myself. I over heard one of the nurses say to another that, "the patient's delusion that he is an alien scientist is making him very cooperative with our little "experiments." But really giselle I just enjoyed them for what they were supposed to be, a tool for gaining insight into myself.

"Well, it got better. After two days of being shot full of nice soothing thorazine I guess they decided I was sufficiently 'calmed down' to warrant another psychiatric interview. This one was with dr. william siegel, gene's good friend bill. There is no reason to tell you much about that as gene and bill already recorded their quite accurate account of this 'close encounter.' After I had my interview, things got MUCH better. They started giving me oral meds. Bill gave me my notebooks and pencil back, and even my mirror and my flashlight! I had my freedom back and they didn't even know it! I made friends with my fellow patients. I got to eat with them. I liked that a lot. I started packing back on, badly needed pounds."

Here Prot grinned at me. It was a gentler grin than most of his ususal cocky or Cheshire cat grins. It was an affectionate grin. Prot likes people, a fact that usually doesn't seem apparent in his writings and television appearance. He uses any chance he has with the media to give us both barrels, but it is like a parent scolding a beloved but naughty child. On a one to one basis with people, he likes us and is much gentler.

"And after the interview one of the nurses even brought me back my belt and shoelaces, and let me start shaving robert's face myself. I was relieved. Talk about fastest gun in the west! I was having to walk around like a gunslinger in slippers." Here prot got up and humorously demonstrated for me, how he had to hold his pants up to keep them from sliding down while simultaneously avoiding tripping on unshoelaced shoes.

I commented here, "prot, it's a wonder that they didn't do shock treatment on you."

Then he said something surprising to me, "Oh they did, and it's called electro convulsive therapy and not shock treatment."

"Oh, prot, I am so sorry!"

He shrugged and gave me the thumbs up signal. "You don't need to be, like everything else they tried at long island psychiatric hospital, it did me no harm and it did me no good, except for its amusement value, that is.

"Forget cuckoo's nest. Here is the real skinny on ect.

"One morning the morning nurse, tina, did not bring me my breakfast tray.

"I had never done it before, so it took me a few moments to find and figure out how to use the nurse call button. I pushed it, and waited and waited and waited. Finally she came and asked me what I wanted. I said. 'Breakfast!'"

"She told me, 'No breakfast today, prot, you are scheduled for ECT.'"

"No breakfast?' I was horrified!

"Now mind you I have to have been the only sentient being on this planet not to have seen jack nicholson jerk around in 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest,' and number two paranoia ain't one of my problems. My main concern was my rumbling tummy, or robert's rumbling tummy if you want to get picky.

" 'Do I get breakfast after ect?'

"She reassured me, 'How about a double portion of lunch?'

" 'How long do I have to wait for this lunch?'

" 'Until after your treatment. It will start at eleven o'clock.'

"I was counting, 'Its 7 now. You want me to go four hours plus however long the treatment lasts, without food!'

"She nodded and shrugged like this was no big deal.

"I was antsy that morning, let me tell you! I didn't go out on the common rooms, and I found out later the other patients were asking about me and were really worried! But if I had gone out there I would have seen them eating and I couldn't have stood it! I moped and starved in my room. Now that I had my normal dremer appetite back it was back with its ususal insatiableness. I even considered mirror beaming to an orchard some place and having a little snack to carry me over, but I suspected there was probably some reason why I wasn't supposed to eat first. After all, you guys know a lot more about it than this hick from K-PAX.

"Inside of me, robert's eyes were shut as ususal. He had heard every word the nurse had said, of course. I am sure now he had seen cuckoo's nest. But he was so sick he didn't' care what happened to him. He was a little more tense than ususal, but it was his ususal defiant, impenetrable despair. It could have been an electric chair they were sending us to and he either wouldn't have cared or else he would have volunteered to throw the switch himself!

"I watched the clock, which for me, doesn't take actually eyeballing it. When frank and john finally came I was standing right by the door waiting for them, which surprised them. I understood later from talking, most patients headed for big bad shock therapy for the first time are usually found cringing in fear as far from the door as they can get, but in my blessed ignorance I avoided a lot of unnecessary trauma. I just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible so I could eat!

"They took me by the arms again just like they had when I had first arrived. 'Haven't I finally got you guys trained better than that?' I asked. 'Just escort me to wherever I'm supposed to go and quit the strong arm nonsense!' Walk beside me as my friends!"

"They eased up a little bit on their hold when I said that but they didn't quite let go of me.

"We went down the elevator to the first floor where the electro convulsive therapy clinic is.

Many people would be amazed to know that while most depressives do well on medication there is a small percentage who don't, who will respond quite well to electro convulsive therapy. Once they get over their fear of it, they can even become outpatients, coming in as needed for what dr. brewer calls a tune up. They arrive, wait in a waiting room, have their treatment, spend an hour or two in recovery coming out of the anesthesia, and go home. They apply current to only one side of the brain which eliminates the memory loss that used to occur. Nobody jerks around like jack nicholson because they use a muscle relaxant. Nobody is conscious during the procedure because they put you under with barbiturates. I have talked to some of them and they tell me once they get over the initial fear, going to the dentist is harder. It makes them feel better immediately, though, alas, it can wear off after a while, so the patients themselves get good at telling their doctor when they need another one. Many make the appointment and count the days, and minutes, for when their turn comes. They can't wait to feel better again!

"So they walked me to the treatment room, and told me to get up on a medical table. I did.

"Then darn it, here came tina with the iv needle! No wonder they had expected me to be resistant!

"Tina was gentle with her needle. It didn't hurt as bad as ham-handed frank and john. She put it in my vein as if it were a blood test. I immediately fell into a relaxing, deep sleep.

"I had no sense of the passage of time. It was quite a bit like deep space travel. I woke up in the recovery room with a headache, and still starving!

"Frank, john, and tina were gazing at me intently. I don't know what they expected me to say but what I said was, 'Ok now. I've been TWEATED, Can I PRWEEEZE have something to eat now?'

"They started laughing, with relief that I wasn't mad at them I suppose, or else my imitation of roger rabbit had amused them.

"They brought me a food tray and nurse tina had kept her word. It had two peanut butter and banana sandwiches, a nice little salad with pickles and olives and a grape soda. When that didn't fill me up she brought me more!

"Tina asked me if I wanted an aspirin. I asked her, 'By your asking me if I want one, that means I can refuse if I so choose, without being considered a bad patient. Correct?'

"She nodded yes. So I told her no. The headache was kind of an interesting one. It hurt but it also felt like every endorphin in my brain (ok robert's brain), had been set off at once, so it both hurt and it felt good. I kind of wanted to study the sensation without blunting it with pain killers. By the time I finished my lunch it was going away anyway.

"I checked with robert. Robert was a little less tense, but whether that was due to the treatment or just due to the fact ect hadn't been the big bad monster it was supposed to be, I do not know.

"I checked my memories. K-PAX was still there.

That and the food made me smile.

"I felt kind of extra calm on the days of my ect, if that is possible with a nervous system full of thorazine and my normal K-PAXian calm, but other than that, no different than ususal.

"I would also sleep a little longer then I usually did. I found out from some depressives who can't sleep that that is often the best part about ect.

"As I ate I told them, 'The next time you do that to me, do it earlier in the morning so I don't have to go hungry so long!'

"They listened to me. So a couple of times a week john and frank walked me to the ect room, at precisely 7:30 which wasn't so bad as eleven. I would get up on the table and tina or sam would put a needle in my arm, which wasn't as bad as in my butt, and I would immediately go to sleep and wake up with everybody staring at me

"They would immediately bring me food and I would eat it with gusto. Once I grinned at them and told them, 'Nothing like an extra half an hour's wait and a nice juicy jolt of electricity surging through you brain to bring on an appetite!'

"And they were always asking me, 'Where are you from?' to determine my mental status. I got tired of it, so I got to varying my answers.

" 'Where are you from?'

" 'Ward 3 room 27! Bed 2.'

"Before that.

" 'Oh, I've been around.'

" 'What was your point of origin?'

" 'My ma-TER-rial atoms were produced during the Big Bang.'

" 'prot!'

" 'Ok K-PAX! K-PAX! K-PAX! K-PAX! It is always going to be K-PAX, so deal with it!'

"Other variations:

" 'Where are you from?'

" 'I'm from down the road a fur piece.'

"Their eyes were lighting up at that one. Wow, they really wanted to cure me badly!

" 'Where down the road?'

" 'Really fur!'

" 'How far?'

" '7000 light years!'

"Still another variation.

" 'Where are you from?'

"I gave them a menacing glare. 'Just count your blessings, that I'm not from O.T. S.O.O. A.Q!'

" 'Where is that?'

" 'It's right down the hallway from the ministry of silly walks.'

"They knew by now I was spoofing them again, but they were willing to play straight man. 'What does OT SOO AQ mean?'

" 'The Organization To Stamp Out Over Asked Questions!'

"It got to be a game between us. There near the end of my stay I know they had given up getting any straight answer out of me that didn't involve my being from K-PAX. They were only asking to see what zinger I would zing them with. The recovery room started getting unnecessarily crowded as extra folks kept finding excuses to be there at the moment when I would wake up. It got to be a challenge to come up with a completely new funny answer each time, but I do believe I lived up to it. After all I may be a mental patient but I am a consummate professional!" Prot grinned. " Of course when I got to mpi I had a new audience so I could reuse my material, and they weren't ecting me so I wasn't asked it as often.

"One morning when frank and john came to get me, I wasn't as eager to go as ususal.

"They asked me what was wrong. I told them, 'I'm terrified, you guys!'

"They were surprised, 'Of what, prot? You never minded ect before.'

" 'Oh no, not the tweat-ment, but today my well of jokes has done gone dry. I don't know what snappy retort I am going to have for them when they gather around me and ask me my point of origin. I will not be able to bear their disappointment when I fail to make them laugh!'

"They stared at me a little worried. 'Prot, do you think the thorazine and the ect might actually be normalizing you a little?'

"I said, 'Oh no, nada chance. It's just last night I watched the greatest movie ever. It was called, "et the extrra-terrestrial," and I so identified with it that all I could think about all night was lonely little elliot and his scared lonely little alien. It reminds me of a friendship I had at one time. I looked sad here. "I forgot to do my homework and the teachers won't be happy with me!" They didn't know the real reason why I was so sad.'

"They started laughing, 'Is that all, prot? We can think of one you missed,' and bless those guys, they did.

"So when I woke up and they asked me, 'where are you from?' I told em,

'From the ect room, and no matter how many times you ect the extra-terrestrial, I'm still gonna be from K-PAX!'

"Then of course after four months of this I had my second interview with doctor bill siegel and they transferred me to mpi where the food is better, the doc has time to talk and they have furry beings to be friends with, and," (grinning), "you. And so here I am, giselle, 'alpha male bull goose looney of ward 2 mpi!'

"So, Giselle, that's what it's like to be committed from the lunatic's point of view."

I asked. "So your third confinement in less than four months. Now then, prot, what was it like this time?"

Prot grinned, "Another fun ride in an ambulance with fun orderlies. They let me keep my stuff this time. I guess bill had arranged it so everyone knew I was harmless and not suicidal. I kept my mirror and flashlight handy just in case I needed to make a quick exit. I had no way to know if bill siegel's assurance to me that his friend dr brewer could or would help me was true until I actually saw him.

"So here I go again! The admitting nurse was nicer this time. I think they realized by now I really, really believed I didn't have a social security number, insurance or a last name. In fact her manner towards me was kind of sympathetic. I liked that. Considering what I was going through I had much use for a little sympathy!

"More orderlies, who I found out were named gunnar jensen and roman kowalski, who are now good friends of mine. Another little medical examining room, and this one with its own two way mirror and a bunch of medical tests. Dr. chakraborty was very friendly to me and the first to suspect I might really be from K-PAX. We liked each other very much immediately. He gave me the ususal, you know. Hold this thermometer under your tongue. How do you feel about being here? I tried to grin which is hard with a thermometer in your mouth! Hmmm emmm emmm!" I hope he understood that meant I am delighted to be here!" Maybe doctors learn to understand what thermometereese means!

"Your temperature is normal prot. Let me hear your heart beat."

The stethoscope was cold. I gave him a playful glare, "Why don't you EARTH doctors warm up your little heart listening devices!" He got the biggest kick out of that, and I think that's when he started to believe me.

He put the blood pressure cuff on me and was amazed to find out how low my blood pressure was. He told me, "For someone who is about to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital you sure are one cool customer!

I smiled at him, "I am sure this will be a great place to be. Interesting beings to talk to. Free food, and soft beds. I have a report to finish before I go home and this seems a great place to finish it."

He gave me an eeg. I felt like I had walked into a star trek episode, when he was pasting electrodes all over my head. I confessed this to him"You may find this funny, but some of YOUR medical equipment looks futuristic to me too!"

At that he just laughed and laughed and laughed, but he was laughing with me, not at me. I really really like him giselle!"

Then he said," "Open up let me look at your teeth. Ah this is amazing, No cavities!"

"Its my diet," I explained. "I eat very healthy "Gotta take care of the body!"

He was amazed! "And we think you are crazy?"

I thought of my poor little robin, hiding deep inside of me, refusing to ever talk to me, or for the most part even open his eyes! I gave him what dr b calls my cheshire cat grin. "Oh if you only knew!"

He asked me things like, "How strong are your prot? Can you lift this bar bell? I'm going to hit your knee with this little hammer. No it won't hurt. Ah your leg jumped. That's what it supposed to do. Can you read the 4th line on the eye chart? Then came the most painful part of the med-test, for me at least. He made me take off my glasses and he shined a very bright light in my eyes! I gritted my teeth and hung on to the chair arm with all my strength. I practicably bent it.

"Does that hurt? He asked me. Your pupils are as dilated as they can possibly be. No wonder the cops thought you were on drugs!"

I spoke sarcastically, "No I just enjoy damaging chair arms! Of course it hurts! That is why I wear dark glasses!

"You can put your glasses back on now."


"Photo phobia." He wrote it down in my file.

I explained to him"I am not afraid of bright light. It just hurts!"

He nodded, "I know. The term photo phobia is inaccurate, but that unfortunately is the medical term we are stuck with. But it doesn't mean we think you are scared of light. Photo phobia is not a psychiatric condition. It is real pain. We know you are hurting, and I am sorry I had to shine a bright light in your eyes!"

I nodded. "I know you can't help it. It is not your fault with your homo sapiens eyes that you require extra light to see into mine!"

"He gave me the most respectful look I received in all my stay here from any of the staff."

"Now let me take a look at your ears. Do you have trouble hearing people prot?"

I told him, "no." But he gave me a hearing test, which I passed with flying colors of course. Deafness was not one of Roberts problems. Or mine either, unless you count tone deafness."

Prot gave me a loopy grin and I giggled. Prot's self admitted inability to carry a tune is infamous through out the whole hospital! Which was a pitty because just like his equally tone deaf doctor they both like to sing! It is the tone deaf leading the tone deaf!

"Really I am not tone deaf. I can hear with perfect pitch but I can't control rob's vocal cords well enough to sing on key. Or at least that is the excuse I'm going to give you! It doesn't seem to matter what body I'm in, not even my own. I just have no musical talent." .

"Dr. chakraborty gave me a bunch of fun tests. I knew my right and from my left. I could sense hot and cold. I could feel a feather anywhere he chose to tickle me with and giggled in all the appropriate places. I tensed up when he took out a pin and started touching me with it, but that turned out to be painless. He wasn't puncturing me with it, he just wanted to see if I could feel it touching my skin. I could, no matter where he touched me with it. I could feel hot water was hot and that cold water was cold. I could pick stuff up, rationally describe what was happening in pictures and despite my lack of artistic talent do a fair to middling good job of copying them. I had fun showing him how well I could solve logic problems and neato puzzles. I was having a fine grand time!" prot grinned, and then he frowned.


"Then he gave me another blasted blood test! Dr chakraborty seemed disappointed with it. (when will you homo sapiens ever finally realize it is red, it will always be red, and it will NEVER come out VULCAN green no matter how many times you puncture me!"

"I was still recovering from being punctured when I spotted dr b gazing at me through the two way mirror. I don't really know how long he had been standing there because I hadn't been watching the mirror, only dr. chakraborty. The mental health care profession just loooooves two way mirrors, and I do too, because with my light sensitive vision I can see right through them! So I could see dr b quite clearly. And while he thought he was secretly observing me I was secretly observing him. Of course he didn't realize that, and it gave the patient, me, a rare and precious chance to put his potential doctor 'under observation.' You ought to do that with all mental patients. We should always get a chance to check out the merchandise before being forced to buy it."

Prot grinned. Then he got a look of utter awe in his face. "giselle, I have never seen such an expression on any being before, concerning me. He wanted to figure me out! He wanted to help me like no one on any WORLD EVER had wanted to do before in my entire 337 years of existence! It was all there on his face when he thought I couldn't see him.

"He once told me the reason he had chosen to help me, out of all the other hurting souls he could have spent his time on, was because he felt that 'I chose him first.' He is quite Keee-rect. That was the moment when I did so.

"So there we were, two lonely aliens on each side of the glass, staring at each other, trying to figure each other out. I knew I could trust him, at least up to a point, but would he trust me, an alien? I knew it was going to take every social skill I ever perfected in my dealing with homo sapiens to win him over, and I firmly pledged to myself I would not fail!

"And yet I still had to be absolutely certain about him, before I even gave him a hint that robert existed."

"Why, prot?"

Prot gave me a wise little smile with a hint of humor in it. "I was trying hard to figure out how to tell dr. b that I was really controlling some poor homo sapiens' body and brain without having him think I was a horrible chest leaping type monster out of a grade b horror flick. If he had thought that, it would certainly have wrecked the fine doctor/patient therapeutic relationship between us that we had both worked VERY had to build. Imagine my delight when I figured out from observation and reading some of the stuff in the quiet room that there was an equivalent mental illness that would cover the basic necessary facts without getting gino all scared of me! I had to let him discover robert for himself though, or he would never have had the fun of the hunt. I also had to be absolutely certain that he trusted me too, or I couldn't have revealed robert to him, I just couldn't. We K-PAXians have our emotional needs too. I am from K-PAX not VULCAN!"

He grinned at me to reassure me he knew Vulcan was just fiction.

"Do you really think it was by coincidence that I just happened to ask about maria at the very same therapy session where dr. brewer finally ATE WITH ME."

"Ate with you?"

"How can you trust a being if he won't have friendly communion with you? Even you homo sapiens know that; sharing food is sharing friendship and sharing each other's disk operating system, what you homo sapiens call a soul."

"The strawberries." I commented.

Yes, prot grinned, "the straw berries."