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Joseph-Chapter 1: Enough Is Enough

August 22nd, 2013 by Sean Eastman

Joseph sat still on the couch, contemplating life.

"Joseph, dinner's ready!" said Joseph's father, Roger.

Joseph hopped off of the couch and waddled his way to the kitchen. Although he was nowhere near overweight, he had a habit of walking like a penguin, possibly because he liked penguins and often dreamed about them piloting helicopters into trees. Joseph got into his chair and looked down at his plate.

"Mmm, this is remarkable, Susan!" said Roger after taking the first bite.

"Well, of course it is! I made it!" replied Susan with a playful smile.

"This meal is sub-par, Susan." said Joseph. "If I sat here for another five years and tried to think of anything more repulsive, disgusting and nauseating, I couldn't. I have witnessed flies land on these putrid, yellow masses that you call food and spit in disgust. And do you know what flies eat, Susan? Shit, Susan. They eat shit. They fly around trying to find any shit that they can, they land on it, and then they eat it."

Susan was taken aback by the words that she had just heard. Her mouth hung open in disbelief. Joseph continued.

"What, Susan? Is this too much for your embarrassing excuse for a brain to comprehend? Do you need me to write this out in crayon for you? Perhaps draw a few pictures to help you along? I advise you to take this horrible mistake back to whatever demon's asshole you pulled it from. I'm sure that if it could speak it would sooner beg for death than remain a festering vomitous mass of god knows what on an equally hideous plate. You know, Susan, most people try to spread happiness and joy in this world. Most people try to help others. But you, you are a blight upon the land, intent on spreading sadness and death wherever you go. You seek to end my life by putting before me this platter of filths unknown and expecting me to eat it. Is that what you want, Susan? You want me to attempt to purify this curse in my digestive system? Because I swear that if I eat this, whatever comes out of my ass end would be a meal fit for kings in comparison." said Joseph, looking at the macaroni and cheese on his plate.

Joseph sat in the backseat of the car on the ride to the therapist's office the next day. He looked out of the window at the houses as they passed by.

"I don't understand this, Roger. Why is our boy acting this way?" asked Susan.

"Well, maybe it's just a phase, you know. All kids have them. It's probably nothing to worry about."

"He's five years old! Five! He shouldn't even know half the words he says, let alone be able to piece those kinds of thoughts together!" shouted Susan.

"I'm sure that the doctor will be able to treat whatever is wrong with him. He's the best in the state. Just relax, honey."

"He better, for all it costs us." replied Susan.

Joseph grew tired of listening to his parents talk and drifted off to sleep. He dreamed of preying mantises frolicking in kitty litter for the remainder of the ride.

Roger pulled into the parking lot at the doctors office a couple hours later. He pulled in between two other parked cars and opened his door slowly, careful not to hit the other vehicles. Susan unbuckled her seat-belt and opened her door, slamming it into the adjacent car. She muttered a few curses under her breath.

Joseph stepped out of the car and looked at Susan, then at the large paint blemish she left on the other car, then back at her.

"As I stand here, I can't help but wonder how you managed to be born. How on earth did your sperm cell outrun all of the others? Was it because you suffered from such a high level of mental disability that the other sperms would not dare get close to you for fear that such a malicious form of retardation and mental inadequacy could jump from you to them, as they knew that even 1% of the handicap you suffer could render them unable to perform even the most basic tasks such as exiting a vehicle without slamming the only part of the machine that they control into a stationary object three feet away, somehow? Every time I witness you attempt to accomplish something, my brain cells writhe in agony as they simply aren't equipped to handle the astoundingly toxic levels of stupidity that you emit, quite proudly."

Joseph and his parents sat in the waiting room for their turn to see the doctor. He picked up a magazine with a scratch and sniff perfume example on the front. He scratched it and put it to his nose. A few moments later, he sat the magazine down and maintained a bewildered facial expression for the remainder of the wait.

"Joseph Manson!" called the nurse, poking her head out of the door. "Dr. Morris will see you now."

Joseph sat on a big, squeaky leather chair in Dr. Morris' office. His parents occupied the adjacent couch. He picked up a paper-clip and commenced bending it into the shape of a duck.

"My name is Dr. Morris. It's a pleasure to meet you all. I see that Joseph is the little guy in question, here. Can you tell me what kind of behavior he's exhibiting?" asked the doctor.

"Well," started Susan, "he's been having these... fits, I guess you'd call them. Sometimes he will just randomly blurt out these long, offensive speeches at people. He uses words that I have never seen another five year old even know, much less use in the way he does. I'm scared he may have some sort of autism."

Dr. Morris raised his eyebrows in interest. "Fear not, that doesn't sound like the behavior of an autistic child. Can you give me an example of one of the times that Joseph has done this?" he asked.

"Yes, I managed to write one of them down as he was doing it. I had just tried to throw a paper plate with leftover spaghetti on it into the trash can, but I missed. This was his response to that. He was standing there at the time." said Susan. She reached into her purse, pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to Dr. Morris. He unfolded the paper and began to read it aloud.

"Every time your brain sends signals to your body, you prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that you're an idiot. Instead of just walking the extra 2 seconds to the trash can, your puttied gray mass of a brain decided that basketball was your life's calling all along and attempted to free throw a plate full of spaghetti into what your 20/200 vision perceived to be a basketball goal, somehow, resulting in what is now a big ass mess on the kitchen floor. Just when I think you cannot possibly become any dumber, you go and do something like this. I have learned to never underestimate just how few brain cells that you can have and still survive, if only to serve as a constant window into the depths of human stupidity."

Dr. Morris slowly took off his glasses and looked up at Roger and Susan. "How long has he been doing this?"

"About a month, now." replied Susan.

Dr. Morris looked over to Joseph, who had amassed an army of 22 paper clip ducks and had assembled them in line formation along the arm of the chair.

"Did anything significant happen to Joseph around a month ago?" asked Dr. Morris. Susan looked at Roger, who shrugged.

"Not that I can think of." she replied.

"Joseph, why do you say these kinds of things?" asked the doctor.

"I believe in the truth." replied Joseph as he assembled his 23rd paper-clip duck and sat it on the arm of the chair.

"What happened with the plate of spaghetti was surely an accident. It could have happened to anyone, even you, Joseph." said the doctor.

"Unlikely. I would have held the plate over the trashcan before dropping it, ensuring that it would make it to its intended destination. Does this not seem like a more sensible course of action than free-throwing the plate from a few yards away?"

"Well, yes. But your mother didn't 'free throw' it. She simply missed the garbage can."

"Explain to me then why she held the plate over head and shot it as if it were a basket ball."

Dr. Morris looked over to Susan, who quickly broke eye contact.

"Even still, Joseph, saying things like this hurts people."

"You disagree that it is the truth?" asked Joseph. The doctor paused for a moment.

"I believe that even if certain things are true, if they are hurtful and needless, you should keep them to yourself." said Dr. Morris.

"If me speaking the truth is detrimental to someone, then I am not the one with the problem. Do you understand?" replied Joseph.

Dr. Morris began to get frustrated. "Fine, suppose all of that is true. Would you not agree that there are less offensive ways to say what you mean? You could subtract the direct insults and the profanity. Regardless of what situation you are in and what kind of truths you have to speak, profanity is still an ugly thing."

Joseph glared at the doctor. "Allow me to explain language to you, Dr. Morris. Here, we have the English language. This language allows us to communicate. Over time, words get created in the interest of expressing our ideas more effectively. Your argument is that many of these words shouldn't be said. Let me ask you: How large of a waste of time would it be to create things that can't be used? This is the foundation of your argument. It is like creating a new currency and saying 'This currency is inappropriate and offensive to ever use.' Well, fine. But why the fuck bother creating it in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time, doesn't it? Or do you advocate wasting time creating things the sole purpose of which is to be inappropriate and unacceptable if ever utilized?"

Joseph sat in the waiting room while his parents argued against Dr. Morris' decision not to take him on as a patient. He got up and went to the receptionist's desk and proceeded to hand her paper-clip ducks, one at a time, just to see how many she would accept before she turned one down. He made it to twelve before she realized what he was doing.

Roger and Susan came out of the doctor's office a short time later, collected Joseph, and started on their journey home. School started in two weeks.

2013 Sean Eastman

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