The Reality Institute

Mikey Goes to the Dentist

I have been seeing my psychiatrist for about eight years now and I feel like I’m making a lot of progress.  She’s really great.  I used to have a lot of problems with motivation and smoking pot, but now I have a steady job as a substitute teacher and I think I’m really on my way to a stable lifestyle.  Because of the economy and everything, this past year she’s had to take up extra work on the side as a dentist, combining her mental health practice with dental care so I get my therapy and teeth cleaning done at the same time.  I don’t think I could live without her in my life, but we’re working on that.
Her name is Dr. Eileen Thompson and she works wonders.  Today, for instance, I was feeling depressed and I couldn’t put my finger on why.  I figured I’d get Eileen’s help because she’s good at rooting out my issues and hacking away at my defense mechanisms in the healthiest way possible.  I was right in supposing she’d be able to work this stuff out with me.  And she found that the cause of my toothache was a big cavity.

Eileen sat me down in the patient’s chair, which faced away from a computer monitor that held x-rays of my teeth on the screen, and she asked me, “Mike, is it me or are you a little depressed?”

“Yes, Eileen, in fact, I am.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.  Here are some goggles.  Now, if you’ll just put your head back… There.  Good.  Now, what do you think the problem is?  Is it even a problem in the first place? Remember to ask yourself that.  Because-“

“Because it could just be my body’s natural rhythm of emotional and chemical ups and downs.”

“Right.  Can you hold the sucker?  There, thanks.”

She gets me.  We have such a natural mutual understanding.  I know when she wants me to hold the sucker, suck on it, and wash my mouth out.  She knows when I’m intentionally holding back certain things that I want to say.

So, as she went to work cleaning my teeth, I mumbled what had been bothering me.

“Uh-huh.  Do you think that has to do with your problem with accepting the state of things the way they are?”

“Firb a ball.  Nebba’n m’wife as I dubnitiglykdad.  Okay? ‘Sep supsit herlyberd sensobit til die.”

“Of course not.  I wouldn’t imply anything like that.”


“Good.  It’s just that you claim that your boredom is due to the fabrication of the self as a part of a greater unintelligible process, right?  And that this sort of forced auto-falsification is nothing more than an illusion to keep you from destroying the world as it stands.”


“Okay, you can suck now.”

“(Mechanical sucking noises)  Yeah.  It’s like I’m not even myself, you know?  I mean do you see what I mean?  It’s like I’m “Mike” and not just Mike.  Do you understand what I’m saying?  I’m not making any sense.”

“It makes sense.  Don’t doubt yourself so much.  Okay, you can put the sucker back in now.”  In order to save money, Eileen asks her patients assist her and has them hold all the utensils and things, which I guess I don’t mind at all.  “You’ve been writing in your notebook what I’ve told you?”

“Yerf feraliss Yme.  I shaw aws perf mer feerilsener nthuts 2 C dcnxn.”

“Right.  Now, why do you think I’m asking you that?”

“Frcz y’tk I chdstptkg ths ngvchts.”

“You know that these sorts of thoughts are the exact delusional patterns of thinking that get you into trouble.  They can lead to depression and, worse, a detachment from reality.”

“Uhgrp ilsinton.”

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about.  You can’t keep referring to reality as a consensual hallucination.”

“Why not?”

“Can you put the sucker back in please?  Don’t be difficult.  Because it’s one of those ideas that spirals you into an inability to function.  You’ve had a steady job for a year now, right?”


“And you’ve been dating Jen for a year and a half.”


“And is that because you’ve been keeping your head down and powering forward or because you’ve obsessed about consensual reality, group hallucinations, and metaphysical foreplay?”

“Mrfscal frply.”

“Very funny.”

“Pwrg frd.”

“Right.  And are you happier now with this job and relationship or were you happier sitting around all day in your sweatpants watching Twin Peaks and playing guitar?”


“Exactly.  You can spit.”

“(Spit)  Alright.  Alright.  You know, Eileen, this is exactly why I keep coming back here-“

“You can take the sucker back.”

“Frisht fjpfeogh er foute apfe sjfeil fck bnnies fepugh pamqqe qqpe fugpoevb tpeofejage pouet femveoiupre maspfe mpfemaf mstrbting afepg;klne apppe foeup xx fpeout. Fepqjfe poiufe qpe vneiguqw tepught ouefe pua te ipso facto ajfepoute etc. afepute afeup et al.  afepoute pfeuthe p.  fepuote qpefeute. Qpuofe qutopiue queto frtwenty sxtynn.”

“Aw, you don’t have to say all that.  You would have done it on your own, that’s the progress you’re making.  You just like keeping me around as a security blanket and dentist.  Oh, this is a bad one.  Can you hold your lip down and prepare a needle of lidocaine?  I’m sorry, Mike, but I’m going to have to fill this cavity.  I wanted to have some good news for you today, but it seems every time you come here I have to fill a cavity.  I’m sorry about that.  Alright, keep your lip pinned.  There you go.  Okay, let me know when it gets numb.  Can you prepare a number five solution please?  Grape, your favorite.”

“Thanks.  You really know how to make a guy feel special.”

She laughs briskly, “Shut up.”

“Just sayin’, Doc.”

And just like that she patches me up, dentally and mentally.  It couldn’t be sweeter.  She’s my candy treat.  And she’s still filled with surprises, even after all this time.   As I’m grabbing my coat and paying the bill, Dr. Eileen Thompson, M.D., D.M.D. whispers in my ear, “You need a lift home?”

“Huh?”  I ask, holding my sore cheek.

“I run an Escort Service on the side for a little extra money and I could give you a ride for a reasonable rate, seeing as how you’re my patient.”


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