Drabblecast 368 – Restless in R’lyeh



Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Drabblecast cover for Restless in R'lyeh by Greg CravensDear Doctor Saperstein,

I’m a 44-year-old librarian from Kansas and a loyal reader of askdoctorsaperstein.com. Last night, after a relaxing day spent gardening, binge-watching “America’s Got Talent,” and organizing my snowglobe collection, I had a nightmare. A hideous octopus-headed monster performed a ukulele solo on “America’s Got Talent,” then killed and ate Howard Stern. Afterwards, Heidi Klum chanted tunelessly in a harsh alien language (possibly German). When I woke up, I was filled with unspeakable dread and all the snow in my snowglobes was whirling around as if someone had shaken each one. What could it mean?

–Worried in Wichita

Restless in R’lyeh

by Oliver Buckram

 

Dear Doctor Saperstein,

I’m a 44-year-old librarian from Kansas and a loyal reader of askdoctorsaperstein.com. Last night, after a relaxing day spent gardening, binge-watching “America’s Got Talent,” and organizing my snowglobe collection, I had a nightmare. A hideous octopus-headed monster performed a ukulele solo on “America’s Got Talent,” then killed and ate Howard Stern. Afterwards, Heidi Klum chanted tunelessly in a harsh alien language (possibly German). When I woke up, I was filled with unspeakable dread and the snow in all my snowglobes was whirling around as if someone had shaken each one. What could it mean?

–Worried in Wichita

Dear Worried,

Freud teaches us that dreams reflect unconscious conflicts. Your monster, with its phallic tentacles, obviously symbolizes latent sexual anxiety. The fact that your monster kills Howard Stern reflects normal wish fulfillment, but the fact that your monster also eats Howard Stern reflects a potential oral fixation.

Everyone has these issues to a lesser or greater degree, and everyone has the occasional nightmare, so I’m not overly concerned about your dream. Unless it causes you continuing distress or recurs in the future, I think you’ll be fine.

–David Saperstein, M.D.

Yo, Doctor S.,

I’m a college student in North Dakota.  When I read yesterday’s letter from Worried in Wichita, I was like “whoa!” because I dreamed about the exact same octopus-headed monster on the exact same night! I also went to sleep after watching “America’s Got Talent.” In my dream, the monster was lying in a chamber dripping with sinister green ooze. It was horrible! Now I’ve developed an intense fear of the color green and can no longer eat guacamole. What should I do?

–Fearful in Fargo

Dear Fearful,

Dreams often reflect ideas and images from the previous day (Freud called this phenomenon “day residue”). In this case, two unrelated people dreamed about a monster with tentacles shortly after watching Howard Stern on television. Stern’s hairstyle is distinctly tentacle-like, so I think that explains the coincidence. Your “sinister” dripping ooze, on the other hand, has great significance; I suspect you have an anal fixation. I recommend weekly psychotherapy. Once your underlying issues are addressed, you’ll regain your ability to enjoy guacamole.

–David Saperstein, M.D.

Dear Doctor Saperstein,

I’m an ancient malevolent entity residing in the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh. Although I’ve been dead for untold millennia, lying here in my Cyclopean stone tomb with its loathsomely non-Euclidean architecture, I still experience vivid dreams. How is this possible? Is there medication for my condition? I’d prefer a nice restful death undisturbed by dreams.

–Restless in R’lyeh

Dear Restless,

It’s clear that you have many issues. First of all, at some level you must realize that you’re not really dead. Instead, isn’t it more accurate to say that you are (like everyone) full of life and the potential for self-fulfillment? Next, you describe yourself as a “malevolent entity”–are you sure that’s true? That sounds like a label that other people have used to define you. Is that really who you are? Is that who you want to be?

If you are experiencing distressing dreams, then the solution is not medication but psychotherapy to identify the underlying conflicts. While medication is sometimes helpful, there’s no substitute for regular treatment by a skilled psychoanalyst.

–David Saperstein, M.D.

Dear Doctor Saperstein,

Worried in Wichita here again. Well, last night I had another dream about the octopus-headed monster. This time, he was in this ancient underwater city full of monoliths and giant statues. In my dream, the whole city violently emerged from the Pacific Ocean and there were huge earthquakes around the globe. When I woke up, there was an actual earthquake right here in Wichita, and my house shook so hard that some of my snowglobes fell from their shelves and smashed on the floor. Then I turned on the TV, and found out that an ancient city actually had appeared in the Pacific Ocean. What’s happening? Am I going crazy?

–Worried in Wichita

Dear Worried,

We’re all shocked and concerned by the recent geological upheavals. In these troubled times, I’m not surprised to hear that you’re having disturbing dreams. In your anxiety and confusion, you’ve gotten mixed-up about the sequence of events. Obviously, you must have dreamed about the earthquakes after they occurred, not before.

So I want you to relax and not worry about the Pacific Ocean. You can’t control the Pacific Ocean, but you can control your own emotional focus. Right now, you need to concentrate on being your best self.

–David Saperstein, M.D.

Dear Doctor Saperstein,

It is I, Restless in R’lyeh, writing to thank you for your reply to my letter. It touched me to my very heart. All my life I’ve been called “monstrous” and “grotesque”. So your kind words were as welcome as a human sacrifice at the winter solstice.

However, last night I had yet another horrible dream. It started well enough. I dreamt I was floating in space surrounded by tiny frozen worlds, each beautiful world the home of happy winter creatures cavorting amid pristine snow. But when I reached out to touch the nearest one, they all suddenly hurtled down into an abyss and smashed to pieces.

When I woke up, I felt anxious and sick to my thorax. It seems that everything I touch, I destroy.

Please, doctor, can you help me?

–Restless in R’lyeh

Dear Restless,

I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing unpleasant dreams. Again, I think you’d benefit from intensive psychotherapy.

You mentioned previously that you live in the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh. I assume you mean the nightmare corpse-city of Raleigh, North Carolina? I can recommend several excellent psychotherapists associated with the medical center at UNC Chapel Hill. I attempted to send you their names but for some reason my emails to the address on your profile (ph’nglu.mglw’nafh.cthulhu.r’lyeh@elder.god) keep bouncing back as “Domain Not Found.” I tried it both with and without the apostrophes, but it still didn’t go through. You probably need to talk to your internet service provider.

–David Saperstein, M.D.

Dear Doctor Saperstein,

You remember me–Worried in Wichita? The one with the dream about the octopus-headed monster? Do me a favor. Turn on CNN. See that gigantic octopus-headed monster destroying Australia and New Zealand? Quite the coinkydink, wouldn’t you say?

Now, I’m not the type of person who goes around saying “I told you so,” but really, you’ve got to admit there’s something strange going on here.

Please don’t try to tell me that I’ve gotten “mixed-up about the sequence of events”. That’s the type of nonsense I’d expect from Dr. Phil, not from you. If you need a reminder of the “sequence of events,” scroll up and note the date of my first letter. Yep, there it is, dated a full week before the monster appeared. What does your precious Freud have to say about that?

Now, I’ll admit that my dream didn’t predict all the recent bizarre news. The interdimensional rift in Vermont. The roving bands of goat-headed demon warriors. The amorous fishfolk who are flopping out of the oceans to join match.com, Jdate, and Tinder.

But one thing is clear: I do not have an oral fixation, nor does Fearful in Fargo have an anal fixation. Instead, what we have is prophetic dreams. Don’t you agree?

If you hadn’t dismissed our concerns, we could have prepared better for this worldwide calamity. Here in Kansas, we already have riots and looting. I have a feeling that those looters are just itching to get their hands on my snowglobe collection.

–Worried in Wichita

Dear Worried,

I know it may seem like your dream predicted the future, but rest assured this is merely a coincidence. Sometimes a dream about an octopus-headed monster is just a dream about an octopus-headed monster.

Now, I know everyone’s talking about fleeing to a safe place or stockpiling food and guns. But let’s try to keep some perspective. The important thing is not how to escape the roving bands of goat-headed demon warriors, but how you feel about the roving bands of goat-headed demon warriors. You need to take ownership of your feelings and set clear boundaries that both you and the warriors can respect.

–David Saperstein, M.D.

Dear Doctor Saperstein,

I apologize for the tone of my previous letter–it was over the line. I was angry.

But I’m not angry anymore. Instead, I’m back to being worried. Right now, I’m worried about you, Doctor Saperstein. I saw on the news that the octopus-headed monster has emerged from the ocean in New Jersey and is lumbering in the direction of New York City. Aren’t you in New York City? I think you better skedaddle if you haven’t already.

–Worried In Wichita

Yo, Doctor S.,

Just dropping you a line to say that I’ve been working with a therapist to overcome my fear of the color green, and it seems to be working! Of course, guacamole has been in short supply ever since California was overrun by molemen, but at least I’m facing my fears.

Also, congrats on your new gig!  It’s pretty cool that the monster lurching through New York was actually just trying to find your office. I guess now you’re a big shot, all sequestered with the monster in an Air Force base. And the giant couch they’re constructing in that aircraft hanger–totally awesome. You won’t find a couch like that at Ikea, LOL!

Rock on, dude.

— Fearful in Fargo

Dear Readers,

askdoctorsaperstein.com is going on hiatus for a while because I have a new patient, Mr. Cthulhu, who requires my full attention. Right now, I’d like everyone to respect Mr. Cthulhu’s privacy and refrain from attempting to contact him. I appreciate all your messages of support and concern, and I’m sorry I can’t respond to them all individually.

–David Saperstein, M.D.

To Whom It May Concern:

With the encouragement of Doctor Saperstein, I’m writing this message as part of the therapeutic process. You may know me as “Restless in R’lyeh,” but my real name is Cthulhu, Spawn of Azathoth. I am an ancient and powerful deity, but I am also a unique individual with complex emotional needs. Today, I’m taking control of my feelings by writing this letter of apology.

First, I’d like to apologize to the human race for eating Australia and New Zealand. The truth is, I’m always very grumpy when I wake up, and I compensate by overeating. I now recognize that I should have been satisfied with eating Australia only. Sorry.

Second, I’d like to apologize to my cultists for neglecting them. Over the centuries they’ve given me so much support and love in the form of prayers, frenzied orgiastic dancing, and ritual murder. Where others called me loathsome, they saw my inner beauty. And yet I’ve done so little to repay their fanatical devotion. Ever since I was a hatchling, I was taught that I should be monstrously indifferent to humanity. I see now that this uncaring attitude was wrong. So today I say to all my cultists: thank you. Cthulhu hears your prayers and you shall be richly rewarded in the coming Time of Changes. Please, keep building those temples and sacrificing those virgins.  If you can’t find a virgin, try the math team! That was a joke. Doctor Saperstein says I’m developing an excellent sense of humor.

On a more serious note, my final apology goes to the individual who’s been the biggest victim of my actions: myself. I acknowledge that I need to work harder at accepting myself for who I am. I deserve love, no matter what my brother Hastur the Unspeakable or anyone else says.

In conclusion, I’d like everyone to know that my therapy is going very well. I’m making progress in working through my many issues and developing coping strategies. Doctor Saperstein says that after perhaps five or ten years of therapy, I’ll be ready to achieve my life goals, whatever they turn out to be.

Very Truly Yours,

–Cthulhu

Play
Produced by Adam Pracht
Episode Art:  Greg Cravens
Read by:  Trendane Sparks, Nick Camm, Amy Sturgis, Jacob Boris
Music by:   Kevin Macleod

Twabble:  “"So cute!" She declared, playing with the baby's toes. She tickled them once more before putting them back on the shelf. ”  by  Erica Weems


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