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The patient was a quivering mess of self-neglect and fear. He kept staring at his hands for some reason.

"I can't eat, I can't sleep, I have no purpose....I feel as if I were to suddenly dissappear from this planet, no one would notice and nothing would be different." His face now rested in his hands. "I'm so utterly alone."

The doctor adjusted himself in his seat, exhaled, and rolled his eyes. "Look...this is nothing new. Everyone feels this way at some point in his or her life. Feeling like we're alone is one of those shared experiences we all have."

The patient looked up.

"Really. We all go through it. I have. Everyone I know has, to some extent, felt what you're feeling right now. But I don't think..."

"That's great, doc!" The patient lept to his feet. His eyes were no longer passive, lifeless sacks of jelly. He suddenly moved with the determination of a fanatic. "Then I'm not alone...Christ almighty...I'm not alone!" He stated panting and began to sweat. A smile erupted across his face. "Thanks, doc. It's all so clear now. If I'm not alone, I don't have anything to wory about. I can't...I can't...I'm just so happy, doc. I swear, you've made me the happiest man alive!"

The doctor unwrapped a three-year-old generic butterscotch sucker he had procured from the candy dish next to his chair. "Well, then I guess we're done." He popped the flavorless yellow orb into his mouth. "I'm glad to hear it. You're a very lucky man."

The patient started putting on his coat and headed towards the door. "Why's that, doc?" His earlier stature of dread and despair was now replaced with one of peace and glee. There was a spring in his step. This was clearly a changed man.

"Well, I mean, you're lucky because how many of us are ever totally and completely happy? Most people always associate some bit of meloncholy with their happiest moments. I don't really know any truly happy people, to be honest with you - I'm certainly not one of them. You're one of the fortunate few."

The doctor paused. The patient was just standing there. All the blood had drained from his face. He had come crashing back to Earth. The only audible sound was of the doctor sucking on his wretched candy.

"Then I really am alone."

Date Written: January 28, 2004
Author: Lenny
Average Vote: 3.3333

Comments:
02/5/2004 Texxx: A lot of work for a not-so-great payoff. I think it's a little too overdrawn.
02/5/2004 Will Disney: This guy's really going up and down!
02/5/2004 Lenny: Clearly Texxx isn't a protestant. I agree with you, though - it's a bit long. It's still under 400 words, but it should be condensed.
02/5/2004 Joe Frankenstone: Oooh look, you're in trouble now, Lenny. All those cliquey Author types decided to give you the silent treatment. Ooooooooooooooooo-ooooooooooooooooooh.
02/5/2004 Lenny: Good. It's nice to see some civility here. If they leave me alone I have no reason to respond to them. Anyway, I'm more interested in helpful comments like the one Texxx made - ones that are critical but helpful. For the record, Joe, yours are neither. :)
02/5/2004 anonymous (1): Here's a comment that's critical but helpful: give up writing shorts. This is the most words I've ever seen invested in such a small joke.
02/5/2004 qualcomm: i ain't giving no silent treatment. the short didn't move me to vote is all. i agree completely with texxx's comment.
02/5/2004 Joe Frankenstone: "Give up writing shorts." Amazing. If there's anything that more succinctly spells out why this site is going to be fucked in the long term, I haven't seen it. And anonymous? Come on.
02/5/2004 Slappy White (5): Wait, five stars? Lenny, keep writin' kid! You gots da spunk! Oh wait no. Ewan's mom's AZZ gots da spunk. 5 stars, nonetheless
02/6/2004 scoop (3): yeah i think this wouldve been funnier if it was shorter. i like the idea. it just needs to be compressed.
02/6/2004 Benny Maniacs (3): I think it's good stuff. Didn't totally dig the punchline though.
03/14/2004 Mr. Pony (5): Yeah, what most everybody said. I really like the premise, though. The sucker was a nice but useless but nice but useless touch. anon_user_a (if that is your real name), you make me ill.
06/8/2004 TheBuyer (3): I like long jokes with little to no payoff. This one's execution is a bit bland, and this author is probably long gone, and I spend a lot of time talking to myself on this site, and also really enjoy peanut m&m's a lot, but other than that it reminds me of a pretty decent attempt to write like Disney except without...you know...that Disney thing he does.