Q. Do you know who I am?
A. (guarded) Well, if I don’t, somebody does.
Q. Er . . . why have you summoned me?
A. Why not? Is there something wrong with that?
Q. How do you expect me to answer that?
A. I don’t.
Q. What’s wrong?
A. What do you mean, what’s wrong?
Q. Isn’t something bothering you?
A. Why would anything be bothering me?
Q. Aren’t you feeling a bit on edge this afternoon? And maybe a little bit paranoid?
A. Paranoid?? What have I got to be paranoid about?
Q, Oh, perhaps, paranoid about your possessions, maybe? About the prospect of theft?
A. But I don’t own anything! There’s nothing to steal!
Q. But aren’t you thinking only of material things?
A. Me? Thinking only of material things? Don’t make me laugh. My mind is constantly on the spiritual, or at the very least the cerebral. The material world is of no interest to me. You know that.
Q. I do?
A. Yes, you do. If I am afraid of anyone stealing anything, it would be something invisible to all but the most adept of thieves. Something internal, something stored up deep inside of me.
Q. Such as — your peace of mind?
A. Exactly. My peace of mind. That’s what they’re after! I can tell.
Q. How can you tell?
A. (looks around) How can you not tell? They’re all around. Don’t you see them? Don’t you feel them?
Q. See them? Feel — whom?
A. Don’t give me that! You’re probably one of them. All they want is to take this delicate balance inside me, this thing that’s uniquely me, that makes me who I am, and tear it asunder, break it into pieces — I feel it — my destruction — I can’t let them do it to me anymore — I can’t let you do this to me — I need my inner self to be — synthesized — harmonized — not divided any longer!! Not divided any more!!!
Q. Do you need a doctor? Should I dial 9-1-1?
A. Not on your life, buddy!
Q. Then – what can I do for you?
A. Just keep your nose out of my business, O.G.! And keep you big mouth shut when it comes to me!!
The Questioner is silent.
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