Dr. Casey has had a mental breakdown and is having difficulties dialing the phone numbers of friends who might come to her aid. It occurred suddenly, the day after her skiing mania and subsequent remorse over buying ski equipment that she feels she will never use again. It was snowing for the fourth day and Dr. Casey no longer saw the snow as white and had no desire to walk in it, let alone ski down it. The skis are in the back of her car and will remain there as a constant reminder of how totally fucked up she is. It appears that her latest personality, Bernice, is a professional downhill skier. It was Bernice would bought the skis and Bernice who skied yesterday. Bernice left Camp Casey this morning for Switzerland, and Dr. Casey has returned, only to discover the skis, and worse, the receipt: Absolutely No Refunds. Camp Casey will remain a one-woman mental institution until Dr. Casey developes another personality with a PhD in Multiple Personality Syndrome. Neighbors in the area have suggested that Dr. Casey get in her car and drive either South or West until she spots a palm tree. They have offered to pay travel expenses. Dr. Casey has written recently of the environment in which she has completely lost her mind:
It gets so dark here at night, that when you drive the eight miles you must travel to get a loaf of bread you have to guess where the road is. You have headlights, sure, but headlights are quite useless in total blackness. You use the line in the middle of the road as a guide, but you cannot see the sides of the road, so when you are here, you feel the need to stay here and not get in the car unless there is a large moon in a clear sky. You go without the bread until daybreak.
If you are feeling sad, the sadness will fill the room you are sitting in and when the sun goes down, it will wrap around you like a strait-jacket; suffocating your interests. If you are happy, your happiness will expand like a baking cupcake and warm your sockless toes. You will sit in the dark and the quiet soaking in a happiness that is so immediate it becomes a physical presence you can talk to.
Once in a great while you will hear the moaning of a train whistle across the lake, an owl, the crackling flame of the gas stove, branches moving in the wind. Each sound is an awakening from the dead quiet that has taken you directly to the workings of your emotions. The quiet enters your brain and grants an interview. It enters your groin and causes a baseless arousal. You stay busy staring out the window, listening to the repeated sound of your own internal voice saying, I should, I should, over and over. I should. In a couple of hours, the “I shoulds” fade away.