Shrimps Book Club

Cult classics develops their die hard following because a small niche of people are able to identify genius where others see confusion. I don’t think any novel sums that up better than one of my all time favorites Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas By Hunter S. Thompson. Long live Dr. Gonzo!

Contradictions of Life

Life isn’t what it seems.

We revel in the freedom of desperation.

We oscillate between the misconceptions of misery.

We seek out the elegance in tragedy.

Pain focalizes the mind and body on the immediate, shining light on the ebbs and flows of public opinion.

Only when you illuminate the contradictions of life can you begin to rectify them.

Sessions With My Shrink Vol. 2

“So Ernest, how have you been?”

“Good doc, real good. One might even say, darn right swell.”

Dr. Reynolds is either too dull to understand sarcasm or just refuses to acknowledge its existence out of spite for me. Either way, I make it a rule never to give him a straight answer off the bat. I gotta keep the good doctor on his toes; after all he’s gotta earn that ridiculous hourly fee somehow.

“I’m glad to hear that. The medication must be working then? The question sounded more like he was trying to validate a previous decision rather than genuinely asking me how the mood altering medication had affected my psyche. BUT, I let it slide.

“Working like a hooker on the corner at midnight.”

“Ernest, I see you are still inclined to use vulgarity as a defense mechanism?”

“Oh fuck! Sorry FUCK! Oops did it again! I just can’t seem to fucking control my goddamn whore of a mouth. Kind of like those hookers on that corner, huh?”

I him gave a wink and fake air nudge. He didn’t say a word, just scribbled on his legal pad, sighing and judging, always muttering and judging, and scribbling and scratching, the man was chock full of “ings”. Like right now attemptING to not let my “defensive vulgarity” get in the way of his self validation about his penchant for overmedication.

“Speaking of fucking, I actually read this really interesting article about how old people in these depressing ass nursing homes are actually banging all the time. I mean like goddamn bunnies going at it in a petting zoo. So much so that they’ve even developed their own strains of STD’s. Isn’t that nuts?”

What I got in return for my question was that oh-so-familiar blank stare. You know, that condescending look mixed with just a touch of disappointment and bewilderment that I always get from adults whenever I say something I was genuinely interested in rather than filtering my thoughts through their cookie cutter version of reality.

“Ernest, You seem to want to discuss sexual acts quite vividly. I do have a new medication that can quell some of those primal urges for you. It works by suppressing libido and slightly lowering your testosterone levels, which has yielded great short term success in behavior modification with a few small side effects of course, nothing that should concern you.” I sat there staring blankly while he let the fact that he basically just offered to neuter me like a frisky house dog sit in the air for awhile. He returned to his scribbling then added, “I will say though that it is PERFECTLY normal for a boy your age to be interested with sex.”

I rolled my eyes at the contradiction and wondered if it really was possible for your eye muscles to become stuck mid-stream in an eye roll. Then I began to wonder if any of those dumb adages you learn as a kid from adults were actually true. And where did they come from? Are carrots really good for your eyes? If you don’t make your bed, will the boogie man come get you? Is this deep rooted fear instilled at an early age what draws us to the comfort of medicating  all of our troubles away? I had no idea, but instead of engaging with those harsh realities I had an entirely more pressing matter at hand. That matter being to keep my ability to get a hard on out of the grip of Dr. Reynolds’ bone-killer drugs.

“Oh I’m not interested in sex, Doc. From what I’ve read sex seems like an unnecessary complication to an otherwise simple existence. I’m strongly considering foregoing it all together. Kind of like vegans and animal products.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well you know how vegans forego eating or using any animal products even though there are no studies proving there are any real health benefits to abstaining from animal products?”

“I was not aware. And I’m not sure if that’s even accurate.”

“Well, I was thinking of applying that same concept to sex.”

“I don’t follow.”

“My plan is that I won’t have any sex. I’ll be as abstinent as a nun. Instead of having sex I will just incessantly talk about that fact that I’m choosing to abstain from sex, all the while making unfounded claims that abstaining from sex makes me stronger, more focused, and an overall better human being compared to those those who succumb to thee vile primal urge to engage in base and sinful coupling and unfounded pleasure. My theory is that doing so will fill me with a false sense of superiority from where I can look down on others from my metaphorical Ivory tower.”

“Hmmmmm. Interesting,” Dr. Reynolds said as he scribbled his signature on a prescription pad and handed it to me. Seamlessly.

“Which part?”

Gesturing towards the clock, “Oh not that, I just noticed my watch stopped working six minutes ago. We’re out of time.”

Damn, he’s good. I walked out of the office, prescription in-hand. Curling the script into a mini basketball I dodged two phantom defenders, turned my back to Martha, the receptionist, and shot the paper into the trash can yelling, “Kobe!” With a tip of my proverbial cap to Martha, I slammed the door behind me.