A Question of Sanity

Example by Matthew Ebel, Art by Genesis Whitmore

Unknown date, definitely in the near future from 2005. Another thing happened for which I have no explanation: After Antarctica I became a psychiatrist in an Illinois hospital. I don’t know what year that was either, but the place looked like the hospital from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Maybe late seventies? Early eighties? I don’t know, the memories always fade so fast. The time is unimportant. At the very least it was during a time when I could have bought some good music on the original vinyl.

I saw her again, but only for a moment. Alexandria was a nurse in this life, speaking little and doing nothing more than her job. By now I’m convinced she doesn’t recognize me, but I think someone else might. I was called in to see a patient who had a notebook like this one. His entries said he was 22, but he looked older than that. Honestly, I don’t know how long ago he’d written the entries or if that notebook was even his. Again, it’s unimportant, what haunts me are the contents of the notebook.

Mr. Petri— that was the patient’s name —had written entries just like mine. Just like this one. Assuming he’s doing what I’m doing, he keeps track of the date and time only when he’s home in London, when he’s himself again. Other times he writes as though it’s about someone else. I think he tried to separate the lives that weren’t his somehow, splitting those experiences off like some weird daydream. Maybe he’s right. Maybe “Dallas” Peterson is someone else.

Petri was insane, though. He threw a fit in public and got locked up. Oh God, I hope I’m not headed the same direction. He came totally unglued when he saw me, as though he recognized me. Maybe I’ll run into him again, I don’t know, but I swear he recognized me. In his hysteria he shouted and raved and I knew he was speaking directly to me. ME. He said the token was right in front of me, that it was everywhere. I don’t know what he meant by that, but I can’t seem to forget it. I hope I can figure out what he meant before I end up strapped to a hospital bed.

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