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Poor Charlie

Short story By: Jim Pack

Charlie's problem dealing with his multiple personality disorder. Short fiction

Submitted:Oct 8, 2012    Reads: 142    Comments: 4    Likes: 4   

Poor Charlie

A very short story by

Jim Pack

Copyright October 6, 2012, all rights reserved.

My name is Charlie Thomas. I am an insurance adjuster. I also suffer from a multiple personality disorder. Which can be very problematic for me, in regards to my profession. At last count, I seem to have 13 separate personalities. I say seem, because there is no telling when another one is likely to show up and take over the ship. Interestingly enough, whenever one of these other personalities emerge to take control of my body, and sometimes my business, I later have no memory of the occurrence. Therefore, I have never actually communicated with any of them directly (I have done so indirectly). I didn't even know of their existences, until I was informed about them from my psychiatrist; who encountered one accidently while I was under hypnosis. Also interestingly enough, every one of them is very aware of me; but they are not always aware of each other. Some are and some are not. Jerry, one of my personalities knows most of the others, according to my last psych eval anyway. But even he doesn't know all of them. Now when I say they are all aware of me, I mean they are literally able watch every move I make and sometimes one or two of them might even try to interfere with my job. Especially, if they feel I'm missing something during one of my insurance investigations. And by the way, most of them know didily squat when comes to insurance adjusting.

I actually did not even know of my condition, until I was 26 years old. I found out the hard way. What led to this discovery is as follows. I woke up one morning in jail and had no memory as to how I had landed there in the first place. Later, on at my arraignment, I opted to plead guilty on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, upon the advice of the assigned public defender on my case. She, the public defender, was quite puzzled by my inability to remember what had happened. At first she wasn't buying my "I can't remember routine." She naturally thought I was pretending not to remember, so as to avoid prosecution. She was Hispanic and bilingual. She assumed, rightly, by my general appearance and bearing, that I was just another monolingual gringo. Which is correct, I am just another monolingual gringo. During my first interview with her she said something in frustration to herself in Spanish. I don't know exactly what it was that she said, because again, I don't speak Spanish. But Luis, another one of my personalities, does. At the moment of her exasperated remark Luis suddenly emerged, apparently taking great umbrage to whatever it was that she was saying to herself and cussed her out a blue streak; but not in English mind you, he let her have it in Spanish. And not the kind of Spanish you might call Castilian, but in a dialect, more or less, commonly known as Spanglish. The kind of Spanish, one might encounter on the streets of East Los Angeles. Luis then disappeared, just as suddenly as he had arrived, and I came back. She looked at me in complete astonishment and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't know that you spoke Spanish, I wouldn't have said that if I had".

"Said what?" I asked.

She then repeated to me what she had said in Spanish.

"I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't speak Spanish", I told her.

"Yes you do. You speak Spanish like someone who has lived in the barrio all your life". She said to me, and in a very annoyed and perturbed way, I might add.

Later on, after I was released from custody, she got me an interview with a psychiatrist, appointed by the court. Evidently, during the legal proceedings, she convinced the Judge that there might be something seriously wrong with me, psychologically. He concurred. Something about my demeanor, I guess.

After several sessions with that court appointed shrink, I received a diagnosis of "Multiple Personality Disorder". It was news to me.

The next occasion I remember, coming to after a long blackout, was when I found myself in a stateroom on a cruise ship coming back from Alaska. It was a Princess Cruise. One of the features and/or selling points about the cruise stated that there would be a potential opportunity for an Aurora Borealis sighting in the offing. This was due to high sun spot activity that year. I have never been able to communicate directly with any of my other selves, except by writing notes to them. Here's what I wrote to them coming back from the cruise:

"Which one of you jerk asses booked me on this cruise?"

Later on I got a response, on the note pad. It was just two words.

"I did".

I then I wrote: "Who are you?".

And the responder stated, "I am Rodney".

So then I wrote to dear old Rodney, "Did you get to see the Northern Lights, Rodney?"

Rodney then responded on the note pad, "You betch ya, we sure did. They were amazing".

"Bastards." Was my one word response to Rodney and to the rest of them. To this date I have never seen the Northern Lights. I would go north to Canada or Alaska to try again, but there is no guarantee whether Rodney, or one of the others, might take over and hog the whole damn show again.

Over the years I have been to a lot of places; or I should say they have been to a lot of places. Europe, the Mexican Rivera, Panama, Disneyland, but I have no memory of such destinations. They get to have all the fun and I get pay all the credit card bills afterwards.

Stinking sons of bitches.


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