Thursday, February 28, 2013
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (1947)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
by Ryan James
The 1001 Movie Blogger enters my office but stops short with a confused look on his face.
“Oh, pardon me. I must have the wrong office.”
“No, no. It’s alright, Chris. Come on in. I’m filling in for your therapist today.”
“But…where’s my usual therapist?”
“I’m afraid he’s tied up at the moment. It was all rather sudden. That’s why nobody notified you ahead of time. My name is Von James. Dr. Ryan Von James.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Dr. Von James, but uh, I don’t know if I’m comfortable opening up to a total stranger. Maybe I better re-schedule.”
“Nonsense, my boy. I’ve been reading up on your blog entries, and I’m very familiar with your case. Now, why don’t you lie down right here on the couch and get relaxed. That’s it. Now tell me, what is it that’s troubling you today?”
“Well… I think this whole blogging about movies thing is starting to get to me. I mean, I’ve always been prone to a daydream or two on occasion, but here lately—well, ever since I sat down and watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it seems I’m constantly dropping in and out of daydreams and I can’t do anything to stop it. When I’m at work, I can’t concentrate. When I’m at social engagements, my friends think I’m being standoffish. It’s even beginning to affect my personal safety. I experienced three separate daydreams on the way over here. It’s a good thing my car practically knows the route.”
“And you say these daydreams are a product of your obsessive blogging about movies?”
“I’m almost sure of it because every daydream has me starring in a lead role in one of the movies I’ve reviewed. What’s really weird is, sometimes, I get caught up in a daydream where two movies are combined together, like that time Col. Kurtz was training me to be a Jedi Knight in the middle of some dark jungle.”
“Or sometimes my daydream takes place in only one movie world but then there’ll be casual references to other movies thrown in. And then there’s Bob.”
“What About Bob?”
“He’s a new employee at the library where I work. He’s just an intern really, but I get the feeling he’s always watching me, observing me. And he seems to always be communicating with someone on his smartphone, like he’s reporting back to his superiors. It’s rather unnerving.”
“So…whaddya think, Doc? Am I losing it? Or do you—do you suppose there’s some sort of evil mad genius at work here? I mean like somebody with a nefarious master plan who’s out to get me and drive me insane. No— No, I guess that sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?”
“Well, there you have it, Doc. That’s my predicament in a nutshell. So do you have any suggestions for me?”
“I know how to murder a man and leave no trace.”
“What! What did you say??”
“I said have you been having any other strange visions lately? For instance, when you’re walking around town, how do women appear to you? Are they always fully clothed or do you sometimes see women walking around in nothing but their undergarments?”
“Now really, doctor! What do you take me for? I’m a happily married man. I—I suppose, like most men, the occasional young beauty catches my eye, but I—“
“Sure, sure. I didn’t mean to offend. It’s just that sometimes—“
It was at that moment the office door opened, and Nurse Mayo walked in. My patient immediately sat up on the couch. His eyes nearly popped out of his head, and he began drooling like a ravenous wolf. He took great interest in the nurse as she walked over to me and handed me some papers.
“Doctor, would you sign these please?”
“Certainly, Miss Mayo, I’ll be glad to.”
I took the papers and signed each one before handing them back to Nurse Mayo, and that’s when I noticed it.
“Why, Miss Mayo!”
Both Miss Mayo and the patient gave me confused looks.
“Y-yes? What is it, doctor?”
“There’s a spot on your uniform!”
Miss Mayo looked down to examine herself and gasped.
“Oh, dear! I’m so sorry. Thank you, doctor. I’ll go change right away.”
With that, Nurse Mayo hurried out of the office shutting the door behind her.
“Please, pardon the interruption. It seems the paperwork is never ending around here. Anyway, as I was saying, I—Well, what is it my boy? You look as though you’ve just seen something totally unbelievable.”
“S-so that’s your nurse?”
“I didn’t see a spot on her uniform….”
“What? But it was clearly visible on her white uniform. Looked like a blotch of mustard or something.”
The patient said nothing. Then it dawned on me. I knew immediately what was up.
“You didn’t see a uniform at all, did you, Chris?”
The patient shook his head, then buried his face in his hands and began sobbing like a baby.
“No! I didn’t! I only saw lacy undergarments and thigh-high boots! Oh doctor, what am I going to do? What’s wrong with me??”
I walked over to the couch, sat down beside the patient, and patted him on the shoulder.
“There, there, my boy. It sounds to me like what you need is a vacation from your blog.”
“A vacation from my blog? Really?”
“Yes, turn off that computer for a while. Go out and get some fresh air. Relax. Enjoy life. Find yourself a nice girl. Get married—“
“But I’m already married!”
“Good, good. Maybe what you need, then, is to find some good books to read. That shouldn’t be too difficult for a librarian, ay? Maybe you can get together with this Bob fellow, and you can suggest books to each other and then talk about the books you’ve read. You may find out he’s a likable sort. Or maybe….”
“Maybe you’d like to amuse yourself by playing a game of solitaire?”