I went to see a very close pal of mine the other day who just happens to be The World’s Greatest Psychiatrist. No, it is not what you are thinking about. I do not need help. It is just that I wanted to give him the most recent novel I had penned because I felt that it would help him to further understand entertainers of which he has many patients who need help. Also I wished to inform him that my regular doctor said that I am not crazy, just eccentric. During my session he asked me to stop calling his patients nut jobs, but rather to prefer to them as people who need help. So I said, “Here is my last book to help those nut jobs ya got who need help. Can you please help me now?!”
I explained that it is a small thing, really, that I have had the same dream every night for the past thirty years and I always wake up right after it in the middle of the night and I need my sleep so I can practice and write, and though at first I was a little frightened, I had gotten into it and now I completely enjoy the dream.
I went on to tell my dear pal The World’s Greatest Psychiatrist… Who the hell else would I go to being The World’s Greatest Xylophonist…that still after fifty years I take fourteen showers a day and brush and floss around thirty times daily as well. So not too much has changed in all that time.
I told him “Maybe I do not need help…but listen…here is what I dream about. Rats. In my dream they are thirty feet high and devour me with knife, fork and mustard, Kosciusko is their favorite and mine. They do scare me as much as the Mafia Guys in the two thousand dollar suites who want to prepare me for the rats, though they never do catch me, I think they also need help and plenty of it as all of ‘em really deep down want to be Sinatra, though Frank could swing, they could not, Frank had great taste in music, they do not, Frank possessed marvelous diction which they ain’t got and…and…and…and…and all of those guys in my dreams add silly cheap ties to the shark-skin suits. In other words they all suck big time and some of them have Nelson Riddle Charts re-orchestrated for banjo and glockenspiel and they always tell me to light their cigarettes before they serve me up to the rodents. In fact the other night when I final fell asleep, it took three hours doing the alphabet trick, one of these Corleone wannabees sang me an odd meter arrangement of AL-DI-LA.
“Okay, so maybe I do need help. For the love of everything Kosher, Doctor pal-o-mine, you are a Freud man, didn’t he write the book, The Interpretation of Dreams?!
The World’s Greatest Psychiatrist questioned me as to what kind of bed I sleep on, the pillows and the blankets. I mentioned that my bed is very traditional, a double-king-size with a carved Knights of the Round Table scene headboard. I use only twelve pillows and my blankets which are recyclable are made of the finest espresso coffee grounds that are held together by freeze dried Piqua syrup.
The good doctor put down his Second Avenue Deli sandwich and told me he had seen a similar case like mine when he was interning in a hotel in Thimphu Bhutan. He said, “I believe your problem is the sheets. Yes, I am sure, that is it. What kind of sheets are you trying to sleep on?”
Well he nailed it! Of course, that’s it! That’s why he gets seven hundred and fifty dollars a half hour. I have been trying to sleep on fitted sheets. Oh those pieces of crap. Who was the Nazi Bastard that invented them? They never fit. You pull them over on one side and the other side pops off. All sides have elastic trimmed corners. You tape the corners with gaffer’s tape and pull, the corners pop off again. They really suck. I have been given the best ones made. I have purchased the best ones. All of them never work. I CURSE THEM!!!! I BEG THEM!!!! I have dozens of them but none of them make it. I have even invited some pals of mine over to hold down the corners while I yank and pull. I just cannot be done. The fitted devils slip out of their fingers and shriek with laughter at me. I have cut open the corners to make them into regular sheets but I still wake up in a cocoon. The cruel, ugly, torturous things wrap themselves around me and all the help in the world cannot save me.
My good pal, The World’s Greatest Psychiatrist tells me to go out and buy some regular sheets. If I do that I will get some rest and be as close to a “normal” person as one can get. He used four fingers in the air when he said the word “normal”.
I ran from the doctor’s office and went to a linen store and had a lovely time buying regular-normal-no-help-sheets. They were in all colors. Some were orange, some were purple, some gold colored. When I got home I saw that the fitted sheet on my bed was trying to make the letter V out of the mattress. I ripped it off. Then! I threw all the fitted sheets into a very old xylophone case. My first night of “Normal” no help sleep was upon an all silk periwinkle job that was cool and flat.
The rats can now go and eat someone else. The Mafia wannabees can get some new orchestrations and vocal lessons. Yeah, that’s right; get someone else to light your cigs. My pshych pal has founded the cure. Bless him.
I might even pay him one day. Maybe even give him a gift: An old xylophone case filled with “slightly” used fitted sheets.
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