I gripped my notecards as the guidance counselor introduced me to an auditorium full of bored high school students who honestly didn’t give a fuck about what the career speakers were saying. Truthfully, I completely forgot I signed up for this career seminar and now I have absolutely no idea what the heck I am going to talk about. Thank God, I am the last career speaker, I thought entering the auditorium since I planned to prepare my speech while the others expressed the profoundness of their career. As I sat down, I lifted my hand at the administrators who were setting up the microphone, showing them my preparedness by waving at them with the notecards I snagged from some high schooler’s open locker. Yes, bask at my professionalism. I don’t see anyone else with these bad boys in hand.
Unfortunately, karma’s a bitch and I was distracted for the whole forty-five minutes leading up to my turn by the biology facts scribbled on the cards.
I sluggishly made my way to the microphone, not even trying to hide my oozing I-really-don’t-want-to-be-here vibe. I stood awkwardly in front of a bunch of lit-up faces, not “yay, the shrink’s speaking” lit up, but the “bored as fuck, have been refreshing my insta-feed every ten seconds” lit up. I adjusted the microphone to my height and the sound of me chewing gum echoed through the auditorium. Shit. There was no way I could talk on a microphone with gum in my mouth, but more importantly, there was no way I was going to throw away a fresh piece of gum. I frantically looked around for some place to put it. Maybe the guidance counselor can hold it? Nah, she looks like a germaphobe. I pulled the moist, still mint fresh piece of gum from my mouth and stuck it on the head of the microphone.
“Alright, let’s get this over with.”
I glanced at the clock above the auditorium’s exit door. Ten minutes. I uncouthly fumbled through the fake flashcards, like I had “accidently” gotten them out of order. They had grown slightly damp from being clutched between my balmy fingers. What the fuck am I supposed to talk about for ten minutes? I’m a therapist, not a biologist. I sit in a chair and listen to people talk. Can’t get more basic than that. With an annoyed sigh I began, “I’m a therapist for the commonly misunderstood.” I watched some punk roll his eyes in the front row, god, kill me now. “And, as a therapist, I offer different types of therapy: art therapy, cognitive therapy, group therapy. I used to do couples therapy but that bit me in the ass when I took on these two masochists who suffered from adolescent moodiness, most likely from their stunted emotional development. I ended up suggesting they join an addicts anonymous group to help overcome their pica disorder. I am not saying there is anything wrong with drinking blood, but keep in mind…it is frowned upon in modern society. Well, once I stopped offering couple’s therapy, my schedule opened up for more one-on-one sessions and boy was that a mistake I now have therapy sessions with a self-harming insomniac dealing with multiple personality disorder who refuses to talk about anything. Something about it being the first rule. Don’t get me wrong, one-on-one sessions can be very…enlightening, both for the patient and the therapist. I always look forward to the occasional fireball with Hades during his anger management therapy.”
I heard someone choke and looked up to see one administrator in the back sputtering into his cup of coffee. The guy standing next to the fretting administrator smirked, I know who I’m getting drinks with.
Someone loudly cleared their throat behind me, “Um, excuse you, I’m mentoring here.” Rolling my eyes, I opened my mouth to continue, but they did it — again. I whipped my head around. “What is your — ” but, before I could finish, I saw it was the guidance counselor. My eyes brightened, “Oh darn, did I run out of time?” She just pointed ahead. I turned to see some girl in pink with her hand raised. “No questions until the end if we have time. And trust me, we won’t have time. Now, let me tell you about — ” she raised her hand again, higher. Goddamn it. “What do you want?” She smiled, a wicked grin of triumph. “Do you have long-distance sessions?” At that moment, I realized these dumbasses were actually believing me. Well then…
I hid my devious smile behind my notecards, “Oh yes I have, sweet child! And let me tell you, be prepared for those curve ball parasit-ients, patients. Curve ball patients. I honestly never thought I would be facetiming a red-haired kleptomaniac pathological hoarder with a tail and serious body image issues. It’s sad to say that one of my greatest success stories is convincing someone to throw away twenty corkscrews and accept the ‘dinglehopper’ as an eating utensil. Does that answer your question?” Taking my eyes off the pink puffball, I saw so many gullible faces fascinated by my “career.” With only four minutes left, the wheels began to turn on how I could really mess with them.
Smirking, I pretended to search for another flashcard, before dramatically ripping them in half, and with a flick of my wrist the pieces scattered to the floor. “I want to share with you my favorite success story,” I said matter-of-fact, while stepping over the pieces. I directed all my attention to the pink Polly pocket in the back and asked: “Who knew sadists prefer pink?” I watched a few heads turn to glance at the girl who had pestered me for a question. “Yep! I discovered this after several one-on-one therapy sessions with Dolores Umbridge, Regina George, and Glinda the Bitch Witch. It was Glinda who officially gave it away. I still remember her vague, detached smirk as we discussed her actions in Oz, specifically the manipulation of a sixteen-year-old girl into performing two counts of manslaughter. Not to mention sending said girl on a ridiculous life-threatening quest when all the girl had to do was click her grandma heels, and Glinda knew that. But what was Glinda’s excuse for not telling her this you may ask? Well, she said Dorothy wouldn’t have believed her. Right. Chick was just transported to a magical land via twister, immediately serenaded by a bunch of munchkins and watched this lady arrive inside a pink bubble — I don’t know about you, but I’d have been pretty open-minded to some special interplanar transporting shoes getting me home with a few heel clicks and a trigger phrase. Don’t you agree?” I watched some kids nod their oblivious little brains and went back to get my gum.
Blowing a bubble, I turned and headed for the steps down the stage. “Do you want to know what I think? I think the red road was the back door out of Oz. Also, I still do not understand how Dorothy stood there like a dazed flying monkey as a dead woman’s ruby slippers poofed onto her feet and bubble lady was all, Let me whisper in your ear how powerful they are or how Ms. Green and Pointy wouldn’t want them. I mean, this is like Grindelwald stealing the Elder Wand and parading it around town like — ” Running over to a kid while pulling my gum out of my mouth, I stretched the gum between my hands to be the length of a wand and shoved it in the kid’s face. “Ah yes, look at my most powerful wand that I stole from a naïve, sleeping wandmaker, and you…Dumbledore…can’t have it.” I popped the gum back in my mouth, patted the kid on the head, and continued my stroll through the auditorium. “Ask questions, people. Like, what if the Wicked Witch of the West was just another Dumbledore and wanted to use the power for good, but was driven mad by Miss. Pink Poof over there? By our last session I realized that Dorothy was Oz’s version of Neo, and Morpheus is a pink pixie bitch with his own agenda.”
I had successfully made my way to the auditorium’s side exit with fifty-three seconds to spare. I blew another bubble while gesturing you-me-drinks to the administrator’s sidekick. “I’d like to leave you with these last few words of advice: have patience with your patients and always schedule for overtime. My 45-minute fair fighting session with the Wicked Witch and Dorothy turned into a 2-hour debate on who was really in the wrong. Honestly, I feel bad for the Wicked Witch. Yes, she is a tad bit melodramatic and her skin condition kind of freaks me out, but she did walk in on a bunch of little people celebrating her sister’s murder.” I opened the door and slowly started to step out, “Did she throw the first fire ball? Yes. Did she initiate a possible opium overdose? Yes. But ask yourself this: is drugging a girl who is getting away with manslaughter really that bad?”
Victoria England is a Texas Tech graduate with a BA in Creative Writing and Psychology. She enjoys writing fiction that exposes the raw humanity we often cover with happiness, plans, and goal-oriented behavior. Victoria often jokes she is a junk folder parading as a type A personality, and often writes characters that expose her internal struggle. She has had a fiction short story published in Harbinger, which details a dog’s point of view of his owner’s depression and how she copes with it through pop culture. Victoria is currently applying to graduate programs in both Creative Writing and Psychology.