Have You Seen The Balloon With Teeth

[Clinical notes and an open letter to Dr. Moria]

Melanie Richardson,

What follows may breach all of my house, but nothing comes from things that I kept locked away in cabinets, and word very rarely reaches the clouds anyway. It started when Pat began speaking into two voices. It's not like it's something I haven't seen in my years of clinical work, but not like this, and not from her.

And to Dr. Moria whom I've been unable to reach in the past few days: I’ve been able to keep myself from falling into this entity calling itself the "Balloon with Teeth" for now, but I fear for the public's ability to do the same. I do not want to cause a public panic. But, I do trust in the good people of Amherst to handle this information with rationality.

[Session One notes begin]

Pat: “I can't believe I've just started to loosen my grip on my little balloon with teeth. I know, I know - he flew away a long time ago. Funny, I see him snarl at me from above just like he used to look up at me all starry-eyed when he was little. You should have seen him cute...oh what am I saying, he's gone. He left me.”

“I wish I could have seen him, Pat,” I told her. The irony is that I had met him, just not like I'd expected.

“Everyone told me to let him go, but I couldn't say goodbye and I don't care what they say. He's deflated and I miss him. But, what would they say if they knew? I wish he never was inflated in the first place. Does that make me a bad person, doc?”

Unable to think of anything better, I said, “Oh, God no, of course not, Pat. Don’t say that. It’s natural to feel these things. Hell, if I were in your shoes.”

“But you’re not, right? He left me in a mess, now he's alone up there and I'm only upset that he didn't say goodbye. Come on Melanie, that has to make me a bad person. All right, how about this, he left me and I'm over that now, but he still won't leave me alone…. Just go away, please go, just leave me alone.”

Again she was speaking in two voices, both now screaming like they were far apart. “I had one job and I let him go up. When he floated down in front of me, I’ll tell you, I saw myself in that newborn shine of his. You could've seen him from the Prudential, it was beautiful. But I just wanted to close my eyes. I was a parent, I was “mom” but took any “me’s” I had away from me. With a new little floater and all the gifts, it took me a while to realize just what I'd lost.

“I floated by on my own and my own was all mine. And the worst part is I let “Me” go, and now “Mommy” is gone too. I can't find myself. He took ”Me” up there with him. Look at me I'm drowning in our past and I'm laughing into puddles hoping I will come back. Where do I go, doc? …where?”

“Pat, deary, you're not gone, just lost in the grief. You'll find yourself again.”

[End of session one notes]
[Session Two notes begin]

“The nighttime shaking finally stopped. I’ve been able to stitch things back together for so long, and then I see him and then everything floats right back up.”

“See who, Pat?”

“Teeth, he’s been gone for so long but he still visits. He gets bored of the inside of himself and points his eyes elsewhere. He flew so high so far far away above me, and they all have the nerve to tell me I didn't fail." Her voice cracking and running faster than the words coming out of it, it ran with the speed of two horses each with whinnies of their own harmonizing.

At this point, she was yelling at the wall with eyes all googly:

“No, go away, you made your choice. You bit me back when I called you home more than home-cooked meals” You went off in your head riding the waves of the radio station WLSD, so far up inside yourself.” She turned away from the wall and stared pleadingly at me, “Melanie, it's just not fair, now he won't leave me alone. I’m not angry.” Twisting back to the wall like nails on a chalkboard, “Think your the only one who can pop?”

I stopped her, “Pat..put down the pen. It's ok. you’re ok. We can stop for today. Let's take a walk. “

[End of session 2 notes]
[Session 3 notes begin]

This is when I found out who was standing in front of that wall she’s been talking to.

Echoing from every corner of the room, the second voice now took command of Pat’s voice:

“Laughter to drown the tears, himself apart in shards of plastic paint painted on my brain, now lost in the wake of dreams gone by. I slide like a windless kite or a bird too young as I swallow myself and the ground on the inside seems so small. A whispering wind once called me home as I flew away on a smiling needle’s back.”

Pat burst with, “You flew away!”

“Patricia, come back to me, please! Please!” I did my best to respond. I didn't even realize what I was hearing. She was tearing up, she was gone or high or something like I'd never seen. “Pat..Pat.”

“Give me a minute, I need a second,” she said.

“You've been saying that for past 20 minutes.”

Pat wore a full face with eyes missing something, but a thick layer of cosmetics masked that. She let out a sigh, then quickly caught it and swallowed it again, back down where she won't go.

Now calmer in a pleading tone, but still talking to “the wall”: "Fly away now, my little one, I just want to let go." In bliss, she could not realize he was screaming grasping at something out the window.

"PAT", I said, "please sit down, that enough for today."

[End of session 3 notes]
[Session 4 notes begin]

When I next saw Pat, she was so calm, she could have melted:

“They all said you gotta inflate em with all your dreams, and the let em fly, leaving you in an empty thorny nest. But needles will pop balloons who have teeth, too. They fly for a while until the very same needle that inflated him pops him. I got to let my balloon go. No matter what I feel, it's time for him to follow something else.”

“Oh no, honey, I just let you.. I just let you go.”

"Pat, look at me! Who is that behind you...Pat?"

I didn't see Pat after that, she never showed up again. But her little Balloon with teeth did.

“The balloon with teeth used to have some strings that tied him up like a body with a cracked smile. His face still looks like a noose (or was that just my nose?). Either way, it smells funny. If I want to fly, who cares what the wind calls itself? You see, if it blows you, and you don't blow back, then you're just a leaf floating without cause. I don't give a damn about the wind's name. I don't give a damn about the song that it sings or the sails it’s selling as long as I'm flying. Melanie, you're like a gutter for tears, letting him fill up in your soul drowning yourself. Take my string, please won't you? I'm limbless, far beyond the far cry of help and even further beyond crying, but I don't need help do I, Melanie?”

He follows me like screams piercing that whispering wind. I hear him now. Now I need help, Dr. Moria or anyone, please.

For more articles by Melanie Richardson, click here.


See Also

Want to read more news? Click here for a random article.