Episodes of the Ephemeral Green Ego

The ghost of the ephemeral green ego.

I went to the library to do some research on what it means when one loses one’s marbles. I can imagine my mind as a cluster of marbles – the colors being emerald green, earth blue, cherry red, tiger orange, a hazy gray, a ghost white, a mauve mouth, a yellow memory in stone, aluminum silver, gaseous pink, lonely brown, Sand People taupe, leprechaun rainbow gold – and they were clustered there like I said, in a chalk circle and the shooter was cocked and knocked and rolled like circular glass and the marbles scattered like the thoughts in my own head.

Crack, palooey, brainwaves wobbling, dreams unremembered, love at times cumbersome, love at times more delicious than any life anyone ever had, palooey, the marbles move like a spiral galaxy, arms spitting glass balls, eyes tumble and roll, the pupils all gyroscope and nonsense like buttery grape jelly in a spaceship.

I unhinged my laptop, set up my mouse, plugged in my earbuds so that I could listen to third eye activation music. It helps me think and glow and be bulbous in thought. I started going through websites about marbles and psychiatry because my own psychiatrist told me it would be helpful to do my own research on my own condition. He called it something like getting in touch with my inner self. What the hell does he know about my inner thoughts? Everything, I suppose.

I reached into the pocket of my light navy-blue jacket and retrieved my pack of Russian red Camel cigarettes. I didn’t even think about being in the library and so I just put it in my mouth and lit it and started smoking. It didn’t take long for the young skinny hippie guy at the circulation desk to come over and start yelling at me – but in a quiet way because we were in the library – and he said to me, “Sir, there’s no smoking in the library. You have to take that outside immediately.”

I looked at him and then I looked at my Russian red Camel, the tip glowing and a swirl of grayish white smoke coming off of it like a genie coming out of a bottle. “Oh,” I replied. “I guess I didn’t realize what I was doing. Habit, you know.”

“Yes. A bad habit at that. And I must ask you again to please take it outside.”

“But I just sat down and got my computer all set up… Can you watch my stuff then?”

“I can watch your stuff, but please make it quick.”

I was sitting on an uncomfortable, stodgy couch in the office of my psychiatrist, Dr. Infinity. I always told him I thought his name was made up because he was hiding something from a past life.

“No,” he would tell me. “It’s not made up. It’s my real name.” Then he’d point to all his framed degrees that hung on the wall that had his full name printed on them in black calligraphy: Dennis M. Infinity.

“What’s the M stand for?” I asked him once.

“Mikael,” he answered.

So, Dr. Dennis Mikael Infinity sat across from me with his notepad and sharpened pencil and he wanted to know how I had been.

“I had a really strange dream that has me concerned.”

“Why are you concerned about this particular dream?”

I hesitated to tell him because he had a bad habit of being overly judgmental. “I dreamt about the Jolly Green Giant.”

He shifted uncomfortably in his expensive IKEA chair. “The Jolly Green Giant?”

“You know, the giant green guy who makes vegetables.”

“I don’t think he actually makes the vegetables. I believe he just oversees the process. Nature makes the vegetables. Life makes the vegetables.”

“Okay, Doc. Whatever you say… But in this dream, I was watching him from a short distance, and he was walking among the cornfields and the squash vines and the bean poles and the rows of peas and beets and carrots…”

“I get the picture. You don’t have to mention every vegetable known to man.”

“Well, he stopped walking and was just standing there looking across the land with pride and he had his hands on his green hips and then all of a sudden his underwear fell down.”

“Underwear? I don’t think the Jolly Green Giant wears underwear… It’s a leafy tunic as I recall.”

“Well, in my dream he was wearing underwear.”

“Was it green underwear?”

“Yes. Everything about him is green. Can I finish telling you about my dream now?”

“I’m sorry. Go on.”

“Like I was saying, his underwear just fell down and then he started…”

Dr. Dennis M. Infinity leaned forward with growing interest in my story. “Started what?”

“He started making pee on all the vegetables.”

“Making pee?”

“He was peeing on all the veggies!”

“That’s disgusting,” the doctor said, and he made a notation on his pad with his pencil. “Are you sure he was really peeing?”

“Yes. He was peeing all right. And he wasn’t even holding his big green thingy in his hand. He was just letting it go on its own, and he was laughing about it, like it really made him happy to be peeing on all those vegetables.”

My psychiatrist removed his glasses and pinched at his eyes like I was causing him great distress.

“What’s the matter?” I asked him.

“You’re dream. It’s very strange. I’m not sure what to make of it.”

“It has to mean something.”

“Have you recently had any bad experiences with vegetables?”

I glanced up at the ceiling and thought about it. “No. Nothing comes to mind.”

He looked at his watch and happily sighed. “My, my. We’re already out of time. Thank goodness.”

“But what about my dream?”

“Let me think on it for a while and we can talk about it more next week.”

“All right then. Bye,” I said, and I got up and walked out of his office feeling like the biggest tool in the world.

Dr. Dennis Mikael Infinity sat at a round Formica table in the fancy, clean breakroom at the office where he worked with all the other mental specialists. He pulled a sandwich out of a brown paper bag, unwrapped it from its wax paper and bit into it. He washed it down with some Coke in a red and white can.

One of his colleagues, a bastard named Brett Walker came into the breakroom and joined him at the table. He set down a white foam comtainer and eagerly opened it. Dr. Infinity craned his neck to see what he had to eat. It was Chinese food. Vegetable lo mein. “Looks like I have a better lunch than you,” Dr. Walker teased.

“Vegetables,” Dr. Infinity mumbled.

“What’s that about vegetables?”

“Oh, my last patient was telling me about the most bizarre dream he had. It involved vegetables.”

“Oh really? Was this patient a woman? Did it involve a cucumber?” the other doctor chuckled oddly.

“No, no, no. Why does everything have to be sexual with you?” Dr. Infinity protested.

“What can I say. I’m a very sexual guy. Do you know how many women I’ve slept with in the past week?”

“No. And I’m not sure I want to know.”


“Twelve!? Bullshit.”

“It’s true,” Dr. Brett Walker boasted, and he took a big steaming bite of his veggie lo mein, and then suddenly made a face as if he was extremely grossed out.

Dr. Infinity took notice. “What’s wrong?”

These vegetables taste funny. Like nasty funny. Ugh.” Dr. Walker tossed down his white plastic fork and closed the lid of the food container.

“You’re not going to eat it?” Dr. Infinity asked.

“No way. It tastes like…”

“Jolly Green Giant urine?” Dr. Infinity curiously probed.

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

Dr. Infinity sighed and leaned back in his chair. “Nothing… But would you mind if I took your container of food?”

Dr. Brett Walker looked at him like he was really weird, stood up, and pushed the lo mein in his direction. “Be my guest. But why?”

“Research,” he replied.

“Whatever Infinity. Hope it doesn’t kill you.” Dr. Walker scooted away from the table, stood, walked to the door and went out.

The psychiatrist opened the lid to the lo mein and peered inside. It didn’t look bad, he thought. He sniffed at it. It didn’t smell that bad, maybe a little off. Dr. Infinity looked around the breakroom to make sure he was truly alone. Then he reached in with a hand and scooped up a big sloppy plop of the lo mein and shoved it in his mouth like a starving caveman from the Paleolithic Age. He chewed slowly, swallowed, and then repeated the actions until the entire container was empty and licked clean.

The doctor drained his can of Coke, got up from the table, disposed of his lunch trash, and went back to his office. He sat there at his desk in the dim quiet and looked out his big window at the world. Far off in the distance, beyond the streets and the buildings, past the highways and the dams, nestled up against purple mountains were great farm fields of golden green, and that is where he saw him, the Jolly Green Giant watering the world with revenge for what the unnatural made him.


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