Register Thursday | June 27 | 2019

Kafka on Prozac

'I feel different. Not bad, just different.'

MONDAY

I am on my back, it’s hard to roll over and there are all these legs. Long, hairy legs. I feel different. Not bad, just different.

They are banging on my door, but I have no hands, nothing to go around a doorknob. Mother and Father are yelling, but I can’t yell back. The situation is certainly unusual, yet not unmanageable. I feel no alarm or distress. It is just different; things were a certain way yesterday and today they are a different way. I had begun taking the prescription that Dr. M prescribed for my moods. This may have had something to do with it.

After Mother and Father left the house this morning, I flipped over, slid under the door, had a tasty breakfast from the counter (toast crumbs with jam, spilled orange juice and coffee), slipped under the front door and was out onto the street. Moving along the sidewalks like lightning, I was downtown in no time and back in my room before they returned.

They want to know why I won’t come out. Mother thinks that I am ill, but Father has convinced her it is merely another of my moods. 

TUESDAY

My boss keeps calling, wanting to know when I am returning to work. I could care less. Someone named Sylvia has phoned also. Why don’t I pick up, they want to know. Because I can’t lift the receiver, I would shout if I had lungs.

Nothing fits me any more. But styles change so frequently. Anyway, I no longer need clothes.

Sylvia keeps calling. Who is Sylvia? This seems a good title for a poem. Alas, I cannot lift a pencil. All poets are miserable anyway. I am better off without all that.

Mother left a glass of milk and some biscuits out for me last night. I gorged myself and yet I heard her say to father this morning that I hadn’t touched any of it.

WEDNESDAY

I slid into the Opera House last evening and had an excellent view of Tannhäuser from a centre box railing, until a woman with a bosom like a pair of Alps screamed into my many ears. Then the geezer beside her literally tried to murder me with his program. The wind sent me hurtling onto someone’s toupée down in the parterre and I enjoyed the rest of Act One from there. I hopped off his sleeve at the concession during intermission and had myself some exquisite Schwarzwälderkirschtorte. The woman who had screamed bent over the cake—I was invisible in the dark chocolate—the front of her gown gaping. I could have leapt between her enormous breasts, but it didn’t seem worth the bother or risk.

I go where I want, sleep like a polar bear, eat like a teenager. I have never felt better.

SEVERAL DAYS LATER

I am on trial, accused of some unspecified offence. I’ll be damned if I’m going to worry. My attorney tells my parents that my accusers are using me as a scapegoat. My “disadvantaged condition,” however, will work to my own benefit, he claims. I don’t feel especially disadvantaged. My prosecutors don’t feel one-thousandth as good as I do. You can see it in their canyonlike worry lines. Also they emit foul, evil smells, of which they themselves do not seem to be aware.

SOME WEEKS LATER

It is nearly a month now since this started. The shouting between Mama and Papa has been supplanted by an almost unbroken, yet not unwelcome, silence. I am what I am, and Sylvia, whoever she is, has finally stopped ringing. She never even came to my trial, which they say is nearing its conclusion. It is just as well. She would have likely fallen down and died if she saw me.

My attorney claims he is confident, although unbeknownst to Mama and Papa he is redolent of doubt. What, after all, is the worst that can happen? Lock me up and I am out through the keyhole in an instant.

They might throw the book at me, he proclaimed, which could certainly spell my doom, depending on their aim.

Yet what does any of that matter? Look at all my beautiful legs, and the great freedoms that I enjoy. Back in my room at night, I dance like I have never danced, the music inside me always.

One of Dr. M’s pills, fallen from its container, has rolled to a back corner of my bureau drawer—I have a lick of it every now and again, for its familiar taste, and for the comfort of routine.

As for Sylvia, even if I did know her before, I recognize that we could not have been happy together. She is surely better off without me and I seem none the worse for her absence. I have shelter, unlimited food, a capable lawyer (or so he constantly assures me) and myself. What more do I need?