Hello? Eileen? Listen, when you get this message I need you to call me back right away. I won’t be able to come into the office today. I…well, I locked myself in my own basement. I am guessing my wife saw the outside door lock unhinged and put it back, not knowing I was down here. Don’t ask me why we have a lock on the outside of the door. It’s not like we have any kids. All I know is that it better not be a hint. Anyway, I don’t know if I am going to make it in at all. It all depends on when I can get out of this creepy basement.
I know what you’re thinking: how can a grown man think his own basement is creepy? Well, you aren’t one to judge, Eileen. Besides, it all goes back to when I was a kid. My mom had asked me to go down to the dryer and get the towels out. So I go down to the basement, open up the dryer, and my sister comes screaming out of it, scaring the shit out of me. She was waiting for me to go down to the basement just so she could pop out like some demon child. Her and my mom planned the whole thing. They thought it was just a practical joke, but it really was a traumatic moment for me. I mean, look at me, Eileen. I can’t even walk into my own basement unafraid, let alone keep myself locked out of it.
I know that I must be rambling, Eileen. But I feel like if I keep talking I’ll be able to keep myself distracted and not worry about this stupid phobia. I find that I ramble a lot when I am nervous. It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t so nervous all the time. Do you get nervous, Eileen? You don’t seem the type to get nervous. Every day, you are at your desk, proper, organized, not at all nervous. But who knows, maybe you are nervous on the inside and just aren’t showing it. Well you really should let it out, Eileen. It isn’t healthy to keep all of that bottled up. In fact, I find it a bit insulting. Here I am, ready to wet my pants, and you’re off somewhere being confident. Where is the compassion, Eileen? I don’t know how I can work with someone that has no compassion. Maybe I shouldn’t work with you at all, you know that? Maybe one minute I’ll walk into that office, and then walk right out the next minute. Just to get away from you, Eileen. Oh…Eileen, you know I don’t mean that. I couldn’t walk out on you because of your confidence. It’s just this basement. It’s making me crazy. And for the record, I didn’t really wet my pants.
Wait a minute? Did you hear that Eileen? I’m going to hold the phone out and, when I get back to the office eventually, you can tell me if you heard something in this part of the message. I’m going to hold out the phone right…now. Did you hear anything? I hope you heard something. Wait! There it was again. I’m going to hold out the phone again. So now, when I get to the office, let me know if you heard something in this part of the message. Don’t worry about the first part of the message. I’m guessing that you didn’t hear anything anyway. Unless you did hear something, then I do want you to tell me. So, just to be straight, let me know if you heard anything in the second part of the message no matter what. Don’t tell me if you heard anything in the first part of the message, unless you actually heard something. Got it? Second, definite, first, maybe…wait! I just heard it again. Jeez, if I wasn’t explaining so much, you might have actually heard it. Alright…the third part of the message, let me know. Ignore the second, which was me talking. Only tell me about the first if you heard anything. Ready…and…now…Did you hear anything? I don’t think you would have that time either. Maybe if…oh, there it was again! You know what, forget it. I’m going to go and find the noise myself. I can’t just wait here at the top of the stairs the whole time.
You don’t think I can do it, do you Eileen? Well, I’m going to show you. I’m going down these stairs as I speak. You can hear my feet on the stairs. See, I’ll even stomp loud! Hear that? I’m stomping, Eileen. I’m stomping because you don’t believe in me, Eileen. And I’m not just stomping on the top step, Eileen. I’m really going down the stairs. Alright, I was stomping at the top for the first three stomps, but now I am really at the bottom. Oh! There it is again. I think it was coming from over here. I’m walking towards it, Eileen. I really am. It seems to be coming from…oh, it’s the dryer. How ironic, right Eileen? Here I am, talking about my fear of the basement because of a dryer, and this one is driving me crazy. Can you believe the irony, Eileen? When I get to the office, we’re going to laugh about this. It will be a good laugh, Eileen.
Stupid dryer. To think, this is the cause of all of my grief. And it’s just a dryer! I’m a man, Eileen. I shouldn’t be afraid of something so simple. Well, I really can’t say simple. This dryer actually broke down a year ago. My brother came down to fix it. Took him a whole week. So I really can’t say simple. But you know what I mean, Eileen. I’m not going to give into this machine anymore. You hear me, Eileen? I am going to conquer this fear. That’s it. I’m going to conquer my fear by facing it head on.
Listen to this, Eileen. Do you hear this? I’m climbing into the dryer, Eileen. And I’m not afraid. It’s not like the dryer is going to eat me or anything. You hear me? My dryer is not eating me, Eileen. And I’m going to stay in the dryer. I’m going to stay in this dryer until my wife comes down with some laundry. She’s going to come down with some towels or the like, open the dryer, and then I’m going to scare the shit out of her. That will do it, Eileen. That will beat this phobia. Of course, you don’t think she won’t notice me, toss in the towels, and start the dryer? Well, if you do or don’t, let me know when I get back. Although it really won’t matter at that point, will it?
Well, that will be all, Eileen. I’ll be in this dryer until my wife shows up. Dr. Kniseley is on call. He can talk with my patients today. I have a good feeling about this, Eileen. I have a very good feeling about this.