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Minnemingo Review


Men In Chartreuse                                                 Timothy Sharpe


    He laid the manila folder upon the desk with undeniable authority, placing it exactly perpendicular to the desk’s edge, while positioning himself in his chair, sitting as straight up as his spine allowed. After several moments of peaceful silence, he gently flipped open the cover to expose the papers within, slowly reading over his former notes as if he did not know what they contained. After what seemed like countless minutes, he gently placed the cover back to its original position hiding the papers, and looked over coldly to me. I was huddled across the desk on a wooden chair, twitching back and forth systematically. “Let us go over this again,” he said in his firm monotonous (and really obnoxious) voice.
     Glancing over, I looked into is unchanging brown eyes. How I hated this man. His entire being made him appear to be a statue, nothing more. Perhaps it was worse to be a statue than what I was: insane. Well, how could I forget? I was only told so every day by this same man. If sanity meant becoming a statue, I wanted no part of it. Speaking of parts, I recall once hearing that humans are made up of of parts, like some kind of strange biological machine. But of course, I hate Biology because of that one occurrence in the Sixth grade when my Science teacher scolded me for saving the poor, innocent toads that were about to be mercilessly dissected. How terrible it must have been for them, the toads, who had nothing to look forward to but a swift death followed by the pricking and prodding and removing of organs at the hands of fat, ugly American children. But I’m not fat, no, nor ugly. This I know as a fact, for that’s what my mommy told me. My poor mommy though... she was a dentist, but died when I was very little. Perhaps it is ironic then, that I hate dentists. Dentists are the worst type of doctors. Well, maybe not, but oh how I hate those dentists anyway when they tell me that I have a cavity. The nerve... Cavities are painful. Oh how I hate pain...

         “Cindy,” he said sharply, “Are you with me?” Ugh - his voice cut through my daze of thoughts like a sharp razor slicing though pineapples. I then became still like him, the statue, and looked up at the man, pretending to acknowledge his self-given importance.
       “I think so,” I replied softly.
        “Do you know why you are here to see me right now?”
        “Does it have something to do with Mary attacking that poor nurse-lady?,” I answered. “Cause you know, I saw the whole thing.” Betraying Mary was difficult. She had always been a good friend. When she saw that cruel nurse telling
me to take my medication, she had no choice but to act as she had.
        “No,” he started, “Because you attacked Mrs. Winters, who is still recovering
from the stab wound caused by that plastic butter-knife. I have told you before, Cindy, Mary does not exist. Have you been taking your medication?”
         “What a gieglo-goober!” Mary exclaimed, jumping from the man’s desk and moving behind it. She stared at him, her eyes going over his balding head. She had been sitting on the desk the whole time, you see, since she was the real culprit of the incident. I don’t know why Dr. Winfred lets Mary sit on the desk, while I have to sit in the boring chair. Then again, things must be hard enough for Mary, with the mean doctor refusing to acknowledge her very existence. “There he goes again, saying I’m not real! You know I’m real, right Cindy?” I glanced over to Mary and nodded.
          “Why do you lie to me Cindy?,” asked Dr. Winfred, still as clueless as ever. I wasn’t even nodding at him. “If you had taken your medication, you would have not seen Mary. We have been through this a hundred times. Mary is the portrayal of your anger, much like Mrs Robertson is the portrayal of your fear, and Ricky is the ...”
             Blah, blah, blah... I’ve heard all this nonsense before but never bought it one bit. It’s one thing to accuse someone of assaulting a nurse, but an entirely different thing altogether to accuse someone of having other people wandering around in their head, abducting their eyes and forcing them to project incarnations of themselves all over the room to trick herself. Oh no, that is by far more ridiculous than anything I’ve ever said, seen, done, or thought. Who did this Dr. Winfred think he is, telling me that all my stories and fantasies can’t possibly be real?
          “This man is completely dreadful, Cindy,” screeched Mrs. Robertson, swinging back and forth on her rocking chair by the office’s door, knitting the same sweater that she had been working on since before I could remember. “He doesn’t know the first thing about anything, does he? You know, dear, he’s probably one of them...”
           Slowly, I turned to face the old lady sitting by the door, and asked “Them who?” For some reason this question scared me, despite having no idea what dear, sweet Mrs. Robertson was talking about. Mrs. Robertson whispered her reply:
         “The scary Men in Chartreuse Ties, of course, dear. They’re terrible people
really, well, not people at all but rather robots, working for the evil Martian-Pirates of Jebediah-6 to force all the little girls on the planet Earth to take their pills. And once they do, dear, well... All the people they know and love vanish, and they become as lonely as they were before they were born.”
            Before I was born? Now that was really scary... I remembered how lonely lonely I was before I was born. In fact, I was quite certain that I didn’t know anyone
at all! If this was true, if Dr. Winfred really was one of these... Men in Chartreuse
Ties...
           “How can I be sure?” I quickly inquired.
           “How else, dear?” asked Mrs. Robertson, who had returned to her knitting,
“They wear chartreuse ties, of course.”
            I quickly shot my head back and turned to Dr. Winfred, staring down at the apparel of the confused-looking man. He was indeed wearing a suit and a tie, but it was a color I had rarely seen before... it was a light greenish-yellow shade. Was this chartreuse? Chartreuse was a color that I had only heard of a few times in overheard conversations, I had no idea what it actually looked like... but maybe I could ask. “Dr. Winfred?”
             “Yes, Cindy?”
             “What is...” I paused for a second. After all, what if by asking him, he would realize that I was on to him? No... I had to know. “What kind of color is ‘chartreuse’?”
              The man blinked, barley showing his shocked reaction to the randomness of the question, but he answered anyway, “It is a yellow-green color,” he said looking down, “Like my tie here.”
                As he muttered this reply, I could not help but freeze in terror. His words scared me like nothing ever had before. It scared me even more than that angry vampire chipmunk I saw outside my window when I was just a little girl. All of my worst fears were now confirmed to be true... he was a Man in a Chartreuse Tie, he was trying to make my friends disappear, he was trying to make me alone. Everyone
that I knew and loved were in danger. Oh, but love... I had a love. I loved a wonderful, handsome, gorgeous, caring, thoughtful man, a man that I could only describe as Ricky.
              Oh, how I love Ricky... he completes my every day, my overflowing love for him fills me. Ever since I met him, he was and is the only thing that I really care about. I even remember when we first met. It was when I was alone with only that stinky repulsive Pete to talk to (whom Dr. Winfred calls my “negative qualities”). I remember being rescued from that ugly companion in dashing style by my Prince Charming, Ricky (who oddly shares a name with a completely unrelated
boy whom I had a crush on in the 3rd grade).
             Oh, Ricky... I turned to Ricky (who always came with me when I had to face Dr. Winfred), and smiled, giving him “that look”. Sensing my love for him, he pulled me up from my chair and kissed me, the ultimate kiss... It was passionate, deep, complete, divine, hot, sexy... everything that one could hope for from a kiss. My tongue met his and they became locked together, I could think of nothing else. I went for my pants, I began to slip them off slowly, hoping to get him excited. But Ricky could not wait! He pushed me over playfully onto he floor. Ricky grew increasingly eager as he caressed my private parts in great anticipation.I could not help but moan...
           “Cindy!” Dr. Winfred boomed, with more emotion than I’ve ever seen from him. He was standing now, his eyes glaring down at me from above. From my position on the floor, he appeared to be as tall as the tallest building in New York City, where I grew up. I remembered liking New York City. One time when I was walking my newest puppy in New York City, I- “What is the meaning of this! You will take your pills this instant!”
           My pills! That’s right! Dr. Winfred was a Man in a Chartreuse Tie! “It’s funny you should mention that,” I exclaimed, quickly jumping to my feet, “For I now know what you really are!”
           The doctor was not pleased with my change of attitude. For once in my life, I was determined. I was ready to take action. Ready to protect what was mine. He tried to reach for the phone on his desk, but Mary grabbed it, snapped the wire, and threw it across the room. The appliance shattered into little pieces of broken plastic and machinery, which cascaded all over the floor. What a beautiful sound.
           “Cindy! Calm down!” he yelled, stepping back, frightened.
          Mary then spoke in a firm, demanding voice: “He looks to destroy you Cindy, destroy us, you must dispose of him... for us!”
           “Yes, for all of us, dear! You must rid the world of one of these terrible
machines, dear” affirmed Mrs. Robertson, continuing to rock in her chair, knitting away.
            “Please, for us, so we can be happy together forever,” Ricky pleaded, on his knees kissing my hand (This is what really convinced me).
              For all of the friends I had ever known, this man, no, this machine, had to be destroyed. I charged, charged like a rampaging bull at the so called doctor and pushed him through the window behind him. The glass shattered from the momentum of his impact. It was a long drop down from Floor 66; not even a robot could survive that fall. I casually peeked out the window, watching the shocked Dr. Winfred topple down the building, screaming, and finally making a satisfying splat as he hit the pavement below. “Don’t worry,” I told my friends, “It’s over, for now.”