I’m ecstatic!

Mrs. Corduroy!

I’m ecstatic! Your first coherent message in years! Okay, not completely coherent, but certainly nothing you would feel surprised to hear coming from the mouth of your average mescaline addict in de-tox. Truly it is a breakthrough and I am elated at your progress. So much so that I am breaking our engagement (besides I’ve had my eye on a really charming bi-polar Armenian woman in ward B: she’s nineteen and has a penchant for smashing coffee mugs and lashing out at the necks of interns with the jagged ceramic shards – I think this is the real thing this time). This is a stupendous development and articles will be written in all the major journals.

What prompts such a euphoric response? Well, as I believe it will be helpful in your recovery I’ll tell you, although my associate Dr. Prang insists on making his patients guess (he’s rather fond of the “20 questions” format — “Dr. Prang, is my grasp on reality bigger than a breadbox? Is achieving self-actualization animal vegetable or mineral? etc.). The remarkable breakthrough came when you used the words “Little Agnes” as it demonstrated that you have enough viable synapses left to dredge out a fragment of an anectdote I related to you during our initial courtship some 17 years ago.

I will now break with a life-long tradition and repeat this anectdote to you in the hopes that it will trigger your memory and allow you to once again return to normal society and what once looked to be a very promising career in the stockyards:

At the time I was just a dashing young undergrad, with chiseled chin and flinty eyes, with no indication of my future career save for an odd habit of insisting on flossing any co-ed I could lure onto the Laz-E-boy I kept in my dorm room. I knew Agnes Sophia Hergrapenshfeiner quite well in those days. I was an ardent admirer of her gums and thought she had the most endearing lisp. In fact we were having quite a torrid affair — but don’t take that with undue seriousness for everything Agnes Sophia Hergrapenshfeiner did was torrid. To watch her take out the garbage would make Don Juan blush. To adequately describe the process of her scraping gum from her shoe would make Erica Jong give up flying and join a nunnery. In those care-free days we had many pet names for each other – litigant, party of the second part, assessee, etc. — all the typical romantic stuff. But one day while sharing a cherry coke in the student lounge I asked her “how’s my little Agnes today?” She said nothing but a wry smile came to her lips and she reached into her bag and pulled out what appeared to be a cigarette holder. As she pulled it to her lips I began to remark “Ooh like Holly GoLightly in…” when I felt the sting of the dart.” When I emerged from the coma 8 months later my first words were “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. After extensive physical rehabilitation I entered dental school, but in all my years I’ve never seen gums to match hers and no matter how much cotton I shove in a patient’s mouth I’ve never heard a lisp to quite match her intonation. That is why I pursued you – I somehow found comfort in the appalling croak that you call your voice — I felt for a time that I could be free from search. But freedom always has it’s price.

Yours with lemon pudding with bits of graham cracker,

Solomon Aspic, DDS

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