After his dramatic night, Rory was unprepared for the avalanche awaiting him on Scotland Street. He punched a reporter, was arrested, and ordered to therapy. The judge allowed Rory to choose any therapist in Williamsburg, so he chose “E. Spernanza” who had a progressive practice on Merrimac Trail. Rory had always been intrigued by the store front. The rectangular sign was blank and turned on end. Flyers in the Val-Pak said that the clinic practiced “Disappearance Therapy.” Rory made his appointment.
As a teen, Rory had spent night alone in the clinic when it was a chiropractor’s office. The doctor allowed Rory bring a bunch of cassettes in for high speed dubbing. Today, the office was far beyond anything than it had been before. There were three horseshoes hanging upside down. They symbolized holding onto nothing. Two ninja suits hung on the wall, which would be used for an eastern styled confessional. A plain wooden coffin sat in the corner.
E. Spernanza entered the room and stared at Rory. Once they were friends, but that was a lifetime ago for both. Rory would fight the image of his old friend freaking out at a college party. E. Spernanza would say nothing of the event.
“Let us begin,” said E. Spernanza. He hit play on a cassette player and sounds of Grouper’s “Made of Metal” began playing. E., began chanting a line from Dolly Parton’s “Romeo.”
“‘Cause he’s got that special thang…, ‘Cause he’s got that special thang…”
The doctor’s assistant came out and put a cutting board before Rory with a bowl of olives.
“Pinch the olives, but don’t break them. Make a pile of pimentos to the side. When you are done you will know patience.”
Rory pinched. He touch became better. He felt calm.
The assistant came back with the ninja gear. Rory undressed and she helped him into the gear. E. Spernanza and Rory knelt before each other and stared through the caged masks.
“Rory, why you are here?” asked E. Spernanza.
“I slugged a reporter.”
“What brought that rage, Rory?”
“He had his damn camera in my face.”
“No, it was your ego. You drank the Kool-Aid thinking you are something. Release that part of your ego and continue your work.”
The assistant helped Rory out of the suit and led him to the coffin.
“Go in and listen. He will end your egotistical romance,” she said.
Rory stepped into the coffin. Grouper was playing again.
E. Spernanza spoke over the music, “You are a Spartan warrior, but the Spartan utopia is a mirage. No place is perfect. No man is perfect. We are good and bad. You cannot be enamored with yourself. You must be subtle. Thoughts of celebrity must disappear, “cause you’ve got the special thang.”
The music continued and Rory meditated. He saw simplicity and envisioned himself doing the little things. Ego is not necessary. He would go back to being a simple pilgrim.
Rory stepped out of the coffin reborn.