"I swear, I'll tell you whatever you need to know!"
"We haf ways..." She stretched on her gloves and mask.
As they prepared their instruments, they decided to begin the torture with a little chit-chat.
"Did you have a good weekend?"
"Nein, mein grupfuhrer... I mean, it was okay. Got some pigs to come to the library. To entertain the nice people."
"Now at Denny's--Bacon in a Wagon!"
"Psychopath forces pig to sing Katy Perry."
"Oh, that sounds like fun," Dr Somers said, jamming a pneumatic tube into my mouth. "What else did you do?"
"Wahl... uhnng..." I shifted the tube around so I could breathe/talk. "My mom had a meltdown at a restaurant. It was my nephew's eleventh birthday. She was crying and upset about my brother being a meanie. Then she got mad at me for cracking wise. I told her this was supposed to be a birthday party, could we lighten up just a little? But Mom kept wailing and sobbing and crying, her face red and spilling copious tears. As usual, she was turning a child's birthday party into Macbeth. Finally, she settled down once she got some bacon in her (not the singin' kind) and my brother made some concessions. Then my nephew opened his presents and on the way home my mom complained he didn't thank her. And then she started crying again... It actually turned out to be one of our better birthday celebrations."
"It says here on your record that you were in Brooklyn. When did you get back?"
"Five years ago, actually."
"Oh! We should update our records."
Long pause as they set about arranging.
"So," I said. "I'm writing a novel about it."
"Oh, really?!" Dr Somers jammed another tube in. "How interesting!"
"Yeagnngh. It'ss about... ergghhuh..."
"We have our own book club here. We'll have to read your book when it gets published. When is that? What's the title?"
"Errughhh magghhrhhr mgwaaoowmm. Er an drooekrrrg."
"Sounds great!" Dr Somers said as she jabbed a squirming tentacle into my mouth.
"Sounds Danish," said her smartalecky assistant.
"Will you finish it soon?"
I raised my left eyebrow. "Mmm gahhs mggheahrhrhh."
As they started cutting and sawing away, I closed my eyes. My dad's new painting, which is for sale at a Santa Fe art gallery, flashed before me. I was clearly falling into a fugue state.
Andy appeared in a dream vision. He scowled at the painting hovering in the retinal dark.
"An exquisite mingling of bullshit," he said.
"No, I have a better title," I mumbled to my dream thoughts. "Composition in Bleeding Gum Tissue No. 2."