Just Another Friday Morning in the AsylumSubmitted by Tom Sorrell at 2014-01-20 01:48:25 EST
Rating: 1.5 on 18 ratings (21 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
A group of men sat in a semicircle around a woman in a white coat. None of them looked comfortable to be there, aside from the doctor ... and maybe Joe Murphy, a 38 year old man with bags under his eyes and messy hair. No one knew how Joe felt - he'd yet to say a word in his three months at the facility, but there was something behind his eyes that suggested sanity was present. Right now Joe was looking around at the vanilla ice cream walls, the chairs that had once been red and the split-pea green lining the windows and pretending to listen, just like he always did. The staff mostly respected Joe's silence, but still asked him to sit in on meetings which always began with the same question...
“Why do you think you’re here?” the doctor asked.
A portly man with an overbite and multiple chins began to giggle as his left leg bounced up and down. He took off a pair of Wayfairer sunglasses and rubbed his eyes, then put the glasses back on and took a huge drag from his Camel cigarette as he contemplated the question.
“Obviously I’ve been wrongfully imprisoned,” Jude answered with a dismissive wave. “I’m not supposed to be here. It’s only a matter of time before everything gets sorted out. This is definitely someone else's fault.”
A redheaded kid named Justin brushed a dreadlock out of his face and turned with a smirk. “You not goin’ nowhere, mon. You crazier den all us combined, irie ja-man! De gods be watchin' you brotha.”
“It’s not me who’s crazy, you simple little bastard,” Jude said. “I’m Bob Dylan. You look like the protagonist of She Don't Use Jelly, if she were a man. And by the way, to hell with the Flaming Lips and My Morning Jacket and to hell with you! To hell with all of you! You're ridiculous and ignorant little simpletons. I hate that I even have to look at you. I hate that we breathe the same air. I hate..."
Joe rolled his eyes and sighed. The week before Jude had been Napoleon. The week before that he’d been Charlemagne. Before that, Captain Kangaroo. That’s when Jude had begun smoking. Joe wasn’t sure why this was, but he guessed it had something to do with the Statler Brothers.
“Enough of your bullshit,” said an 83 year old man in the seat next to Joe. The man's name was Edgar and he heard voices. “You’re not Bob Dylan. You’re just … what’s that? Jude’s a what? He's an asshole? Well ... duh. Did you hear that, Jude? The voices think you’re an asshole.”
“Pffft,” Jude replied before taking another drag from his cigarette. The woman in the coat smiled and turned his way.
"Jude," she asked. “Why do you think you’re Bob Dylan?”
Jude cocked his head to the side as he turned in his seat with a sneer.
“How can I answer that if you have the nerve to ask me?” he spat. “You’ve got a lot of nerve asking me a question like that.”
The group groaned. One man, a skinny little guy named Allen, who’d been sitting silently next to Joe, put his hands on either side of his mouth and yelled “Boooo” at the top of his lungs.
“Screw you, Allen,” Jude said, sitting back in his chair. “You’re just upset I won’t act the way you want me to act. Kiss my Irish ass.”
“Well there you go, Jude,” Edgar said. “Dylan’s not Irish.”
Jude shook his head and chuckled. “Do you know how ridiculous you are?”
Edgar grinned and leaned forward. “Do you know how ridiculous YOU are?”
Allen shook his head and blinked rapidly as he turned to Joe and said, “A month ago he said he was Pistol Pete Maravich. Do you remember?”
Joe nodded. Jude nodded too. Proudly.
“Damned right," he said. "I scored 38 points against the Hornets. Notched 13 assists to go with it. It was glorious.”
“Nope! No! That's bullshit! There’s no way, Jude!” shrieked John, a muscle-bound mammoth of a man with no neck and a voice like Shirley Temple. “The Hornets weren’t even in the league when Pistol Pete played! They were founded in 1988, the year he died. You’re wrong and you’re an idiot.”
“Time isn’t real, Meatloaf,” Jude said with another dismissive wave.
“How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?!” John screamed as he pushed back his chair and took an aggressive step towards Jude.
“Sit down, Johnathan,” the woman in the white coat said with an air of calm that soothed the room. The hulking man did as he was told as Jude shifted in his seat and tried to smirk.
“You’re so caught up in your illusions of time and space,” Jude said after taking a long drag with his shaking right hand. “You don’t understand that I can be anyone I want to be because you don’t know how to use that part of your brain. I’m sorry that you can’t participate in this wonderful feature of life, but I can. I do it all the time. I’m Bob Dylan right now. 31 days ago I wore #7 for the Jazz and lit up the Hornets. A month from now I’m going to be a ninja in the old west or one of the guys from Kriss Kross. You … have bitch tits.”
“I do not!” snarled John as he dove across the room. A pair of male nurses grabbed the former bodybuilder and dragged him away, kicking and screaming like a child. Jude stood up on his chair, pulled a pen out of his pocket and sang into like a microphone.
“How does it feeeeeeeeeel? How does it feeeeeeeeeeeeeel?”
Joe shook his head and rubbed his temples, knowing he was the only sane person in the place. His frustration had been building throughout the meeting and he’d finally had enough.
“Goddamn it,” he yelled, tearing at his face with wild eyes. “Enough of this! I'm not supposed to be here! Who the hell took my Superman cape? And where the hell are my boots? I have crime to fight, you dirty sonsabitches."
The room fell silent as everyone turned and looked at Joe. He threw up his hands in frustration.
"Hello..." he said, anger rising. "Am I talking to myself here?"
No one moved other than Jude, who pushed the sunglasses down on his nose and winked.
"Oh for God's sake," Joe grumbled as he turned and walked towards his room. "I'm out of here."
You're not Jesus. I'm Jesus. No, I'm Jesus. No, I am. No, me. I called it first..jpg