The Institute for the Mentally Overcapacitated
led by leading practitioner Dr. Irina Rabashab
There's the usual roundtable. A definitive smorgasbord of sufferings. These creatures, these very desperate men and women, have come to a place where they want reprieve. They're willing to endure the screwdriver through the temple if it means salvation is again created in ignorance reborn. In many ways, as Dr. Rabashab has diagnosed, the first hurdle is that of pride. Although they all hate what they've become, what obvious obsession their lives have become infused and embodied within, they nevertheless feel that they are the Ones. They are the very singular specimens entrusted with the ultimate great truth that will somehow serve all. There is a great egocentrism in this perversion that must be broken before there can be progress. They must reach the angle of repose wherein there pride is busted by self-hate. Rabashab wished there was an easier method, but extreme cases call for extreme measures. First, you deal with the ego, than the desire for suicide, then the id, and then, after the last of the perverse actions based on carnal desire are flooded out, then and only then, can normalization take place.
Now however, the good doctor herself was beginning to unwind. Those vultures have talons, and they dig -- deep.
A rundown on the who's who at the Institute:
Devon Moreland: An ex-football player plagued from severe migraines and murderous/suicidal fantasies which surely have come from years of head trauma and concussions. He is as meek as a dove in conversation, but claims that at every moment there remains with him a dark presence that manifests for him and him alone, the most gruesome outcome to any situation. He hates to sleep, for in his dream-state he swears the dark one becomes "interspersed within me"; meaning, while his daydreams are focused on the potential gory outcomes of others, it is in sleep that his devilry turns inward, showcasing the myriad ways he could end himself. The dark one talks to him audibly in his sleep and promises that "our temporary separation of souls" will be no more once he offs himself. Devon does not like to talk about his problems, he'd much rather ask about others and speak of mild things, but if he is self-focused, he continually harps on how his name is but one letter separated from the word, "demon". He asks everyone, "That can't just be a coincidence, right? Not the way I am..." His only respite from the terrors comes to him in the form of coffee mugs. He derives a deep pleasure from collecting them. He buys them everyday (and not just for himself, he gives them to friends rather often --- but, strangely, he only gives out mugs he's already owned for some expanse of time), and enjoys placing them around his house. He is constantly reorganizing them.
Dr. Rebecca Torres: A neurosurgeon at Scripps Medical Hospital. Five months ago, in an attempt to remove a brain lesion, Dr. Torres swears that she saw a physical (ghost-like in form) substance rise up from the brain of the sleeping patient. She says (still being quite incredulous of herself), that she knew in that moment that what she saw was the physical property of the patient's thought. She is angry at herself for this quote-hallucination-endquote, but can't move beyond it. She says she now can't deny this ever growing compulsion to want to see such a sight again. This compulsion compels her to fantasize about the physical properties of intangible ideas. If someone speaks to her, she imagines both the thoughts of the person rising into space from the head, as well as the physical soundwaves protruding from their mouth. Last week she said she fantasized all night, and was unable to sleep, when she began to think about the physical properties of the concept of 'courtesy'. She has not told her colleagues or her husband about her fantasms, but remains evermore fearful that this 'new door' will overtake her, and leave her to be merely 'a spectator of life, rather than a player'.
Frank and Scout Lang: Frank is a watch maker. His family store has been passed down for five generations. He says he loves the work. He says his father loved the work. Scout is a schoolteacher. They have a ten year old daughter and twin eight year old sons. Nine months ago Frank read aloud an article in the paper in bed to Scout regarding sub-atomic particles. Immediately, they both became enamored with the concept. Both are yearning to quit their jobs and focus on further sub-atomic exploration. Neither of them have any traditional education in that field. They were told by their pastor to get counseling on the subject before making such a life change. After three months of Christian counseling, they were recommended to the Institute. They see no problem in their sudden fascination with the molecular world and are only participating at the center to do 'good prudence to our church leaders'.
It's the mugs. That's the thing; those damnable coffee mugs. That's the one that's causing all the anguish in Dr. Rabashab's mind. If it weren't for the mugs, she'd be fine. Of all the things...
She had read many articles about how the doctors in her line of work all end up burning out or going mad themselves. And yet, she wonders, "Why is this the thing that's breaking me?"