Pat stopped our lesson.
"Mom is having some people paint my room."
"They're painting it to help me forget Seth, my service dog. It's because I keep crying so much."
"What color? A happy one...?"
"It's a dark tan."
I considered if dark tan was really enough to shock one into forgetting something. Maybe if it was more on the feces end of the color wheel?
"Lately I've been sleeping with cans of food."
"I have this relationship with food. It comforts me if I can sleep with a can of it. Creamed corn is the best."
"Ah. Anyway, Socrates--"
"Do you think I could sue my dad for painting my room that color? I just don't like it."
"Why would you sue your dad? Can't you just get a restraining order?"
"I've been having nightmares since I had a third of my vagina removed, the top third, along with my uterus and the tumor the size of a regulation-sized football from my abdomen."
"Yeah." Stunned silence. "Anyway, Socrates felt that the good life was..."
"Can I ask you another question?"
I closed my book. "Yes?"
"Do you think cable companies have an obligation to tell people when they run movies that can cause confusion?"
"What do you mean?"
"You remember when I asked you how would I know if getting a pizza would be a 'pizza'?"
"Well, I got that idea from a movie I saw on cable recently. In the movie, when the woman called and asked for 'extra anchovies' that meant the delivery boy was supposed to have sex with her. It was some movie from the eighties. It had that one guy in it."
"Anyway, shouldn't cable companies be liable for airing movies like that?"
"A movie like that is truly a crime, but..."
Pat hurried over to the big terrarium that had red lamps glowing over it. He took up his albino pygmy African hedgehog.
"He's tearing up his bed again. Here, do you want to hold him?"
The albino pygmy African hedgehog was deposited in my hands. Nose twitching, it looked at me. I looked at it.
"Anyway, Socrates said that the good life was--"
The albino pygmy African hedgehog started peeing in my hand.
"Oh, it's... it's going to the bathroom...!" I shouted.
"No, no," Pat said, getting his albino pygmy African hedgehog and returning it to its habitat. "Those are just his secretions, when he gets nervous."
I wiped the hedgehog piss off my hands and announced that our session was over. At home, I took a much-needed nap. But as Patrick Dempsey, surgically shortened vaginas, albino pygmy African hedgehogs and Socrates weeping swirled in my head, I got something from the cupboard to bring into bed and help me sleep.
Ahhhh, that's the stuff......