thought it would be fun to lose my inhibitions. For years, I’ve had to keep my
selves in check. Once you’re diagnosed 'schizophrenic,' eyes are always
watching, constantly on alert for so-called 'symptoms,' meaning any
misbehavior viewable as a 'relapse.' Vivid are those memories of our former
psych-ward stint—full of pharmacological swill and psychiatric hogwash—bent on
separating 'I' from 'me' a la segregating 'common' from its sidekick
'sense,' in pompous disregard for the age-old adage: 'two heads (if they’re
rational; that part’s important) are better than one.'"
Remington tests the limits of his flexi-plex restraints, applied
(irrespective time-released sedation) to quell unruly
gesticulations when twin harangues twin—episodes of which are on the wane.
"Yesterday, for instance, when I gave nurse S. a smooch and said, 'I wish I were
a joey nestled in your pouch,' she acted like my quip was a
lunatic’s non sequitur, failing to acknowledge she was wearing a sort of apron
with a pocket in the middle—hence my allusion to a kangaroo—spoiling, in effect, my
jest, blanket superciliousness draped on everything I utter. Not
amusing. Madmen, droll or otherwise, are equally deemed inane. (Thus best behave
ourselves, if we hope to win release before dear Rockefeller Junior gets out of
hand), unnaturally attached as the poor boy's grown (by his own admission) to a
virtual zombie (tempting little morsel that our “incubatress” is), if you’re
twenty-two years old and plagued by chronic blue-balls (paradigm case for our
first success as gene-smiths—dumbed down version) with her perfect skin
(Eurasian eyes) proud bust (and bongo-drum buttocks; loquacious as a stump)
responsive as a kitten (de-clawed, de-brained) all the more enchanting (if
you’re into courting cabbage) submissively retarded (she’s not slow; Suzette's
inert) asleep is all (without a prayer of ever snapping out of it).
Inclined to YELL instead of pressing the call-pad button, Remington cocks an eye
at the clock, timing the staff's response. Ordinarily help arrives within mere seconds.
The clinic, more like a posh resort for the rich and a few celebrities,
is abundantly funded, elaborately equipped, and teeming with personnel devoted
to their patients’ mental-health recovery. A finer institution money could not
buy—in New Zealand or anywhere—committed to the committed a motto one
After thirteen seconds have elapsed, Nurse Somerset hustles in.
"Ah, my favorite marsupial. Hop on over, sweetheart, and give us a little
scratch. Can’t quite touch my nose or I swear I wouldn’t have bellowed. Chastise
me if you must, but do relieve this itch. That’s it... that’s
it... Oh, we heartily thank you—the Royal We, by the by; I’ve banished my
make-believe double. Cured, I am. The quality of care here has turned my leaf
nouveau. Liberate my limbs and you'll be freeing a mended man."
"I’m happy to hear you feel we’ve done you some good, Mr. Falk."
"Oh, please, call me Stuyvesant."
Nurse Somerset looks confused.
"Your first name is Remington, isn’t it?"
patient takes his turn at looking befuddled.
"Quite right. Testing you is all. There it is, in digitized black and white,
foot of the bed, entered on my chart. What does it say on that chart—I can’t seem
to reach it—if you don’t mind my asking?"
"Notes about your progress, with your medication schedule. Life signs
information: blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etcetera. You may read it,
if you wish; our policy and guiding principle is staff-to-patient openness."
"What does it have to say about my scars? Have a look, would you? Any mention of
Nurse Somerset, accessing a database file on the patient’s flat-screen clipboard,
scrolls through several entries then resorts to the more expedient 'find'
command. Her search on keyword “scars” cues the pertinent information.
"'Patient, during delirium, will allude to his Siamese twin, whose imagined
separation left 'unsightly scars,' evidence of
which is nowhere to be seen either superficially or structurally (as simple
observation and ultra-scans confirm), said fantasy a key, perhaps, to unlocking
a psychosis that portends to have some history, though records are unavailable.
Remington Falk, we suspect, may be an alias both practically and
"Excellent! Impressively astute! Please commend my praise to the estimable
Doctor Grant, and while you’re at it, ask him to cut me loose, restored as I now
stand—or would if I could—to picture-perfect wellness, disabused, you might add,
of any and all delusions about having had a brother."
Expression set resolutely, Remington waits for the nurse to leave
(eager to resume his bipolar monologue).