Well, I’m out of retirement. I’m doing clinical trials again. I told my agent, I said, “I’ll do it if they really want me back—but I’m not taking any experimental medications.”

I’m done with that stuff. I’ve had enough. If I thought about it, I’ve probably taken a dozen experimental medications, all of it many years ago now . . . and I also took some medications which were already FDA-approved, like Lunesta, which is a sleeping pill you’ve probably heard of. I was once, yes, paid to sleep all weekend. It paid a lot. It was good sleep. Those were my salad days, but I can’t do it anymore. I need this body. I think maybe I felt I didn’t back then.

And so now, in the winter of my discontent (lol), I spend my days filling out forms and joking around with receptionists. They seem to like me over there at the clinic because I have a sense of humor about all the dark and heavy things we have to talk about. I mean, hell, you’ve gotta.

I told them that too. I said, “If I couldn’t laugh about this stuff, I’d go nuts.” I said this to a psychiatrist, who I guess is now “my psychiatrist.” He’s a hell of a guy. We were talking and he was writing everything down. It was raining hard outside. His office was mostly windows and so I watched the rain and I answered all the many questions he asked me. I kept apologizing to him. I said, “Now, I know this paints a dark picture, but hey, it ain’t all bad,” and he said he understood. When he was finished he closed my file and then he took me back to the lobby where they gave me the questionnaire you see above.

If you must know, I answered “1” for both questions. That’s not so bad, I don’t think.

They have told me to come back once a week for six weeks. At the end of it they’ll cut me a check. I have already signed for this check. I am ready to receive this money. By the time I get that money it will almost be Christmas, and I will use it to buy Dante a cat tree, and then I’m going to use the rest to pay off my credit card.

Hah! Man. Whoa. Sounds nice to be Dante. Sounds pretty bad to be me!