Daily Archives: July 11, 2008

“Dr. Sock Monkey”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Dr. Sock Monkey



          Dr. Sock Monkey was a good listener. He said practically nothing during therapy. I didn’t mind of course. I had plenty to say. I liked the sound of my own gritty voice. I just refuse to have a name to tie me down; that way I can roam around the universe and be free.

          Hey, I pay good money, and Dr. Sock Monkey listens, he’s the best in the business. He’s not really a sock monkey, but some kid he worked on years ago got his name a little confused…so he came to therapy and gave him his actual sock monkey. It’s not important if you don’t care about this cute story. Today, sock monkeys of many variations fill the doctor’s office and waiting room. Every patient, so very grateful for the relief of their psychic pain, eventually donates a sock monkey to the good doctor’s collection.

          Once I asked Dr. Sock Monkey what will we all do when he dies?

           He laughed and said perhaps most patients might gain as much value from talking to a doll—a stuffed sock!

          I laughed too but later realized he was trying to divert my anxiety over death and loss, my intensely compressed nervousness, about the personal way Death stalks you…me…us…in the midst of life.

          I wonder why I even look at the news. I can barely breathe, after the images of wretched death (here I will not disgust you with the power of morbid detail).

          Dr. Sock Monkey is very patient with me. He laughs when I tell my stories of horrible diseases and bizarre fatal accidents…natural disasters as “acts of god”…

          That’s what I really get to talk about…the nature of the Good, Bad and Ugly…God as Life and Death (the long arm agency of God…like a gunslinger)…and the vital questions of destiny and free will.

          Dr. Sock Monkey welcomes me to each session every Friday with a friendly “how you feelin,” and I just rear back and spill my quivering guts to a room full of grinning monkeys.

          Takes one to know one, I say, and the good Doctor chuckles.



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