The Visible Man

The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman Read Free Book Online

Book: The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Chuck Klosterman
sinister. Maybe he’d feel angry at no one in particular. Maybe he’d think less of himself.
    I feel differently about people, and I feel differently about myself. And I don’t think I’ll be able to reverse those feelings. So that, I suppose, is what I want to figure out. I want to learn how to manage who I am and what I can do. And I’m serious about this, so I’ll call you next week. I’ll call you.
    Goodbye, Vicky. I think this went well.
    NOTES: This is going to be more difficult than anticipated. Y____’s problems may be beyond my faculties. He is mired in a profound delusion that’s now intertwined with his functionalreality. It is not simply that Y____ cannot separate his real life from his imagined life; it appears that the real now takes direct cues from the unreal. I’m now skeptical of Y____’s scientific credentials, mostly due to his obsession with avoiding all scientific details before I even ask for them. My first goal will be helping Y____ accept and admit that he is not a scientist.
    I do, however, believe he spent time in Hawaii.
    A deeper problem is his preoccupation with other people (and what he seems to think that preoccupation means). His story about the teenager he watched through the window, for example, seems genuine—although it’s unclear why the music of Rush plays such a significant role in the anecdote. What’s even more confusing (and less plausible) is his emphasis on voyeurism motivated by academic curiosity. All signs point toward an extremely lonely person—a loneliness that has lasted so long it’s morphed into psychosis. If his description of being skipped ahead in school (not once, but twice) is true, that experience must be explored. Y____ needs to be jarred out of his own head. He’s a stubborn one. This will be a challenge.

The Second Meaningful Phone Call
    APRIL 18 (Y____ calls office line, 10:05 a.m.):
    Vicky. Hello. How are you? I will assume you’re perfect. Now, I believe we ended last week with—
    [I stop Y ____ from continuing. I tell him that I’ve spent a week thinking about his situation and I have some practical questions that must be addressed. Nakedly annoyed, he asks what these questions will focus on. I say, “The suit and the cream. I need to understand the suit and the cream.” He asks what I need to know. When I tell him I want to know everything, he sighs so melodramatically that it’s audible on the recording, almost as if this is a radio play.]
    We’ve already talked about this, Vicky. I’m not going to talk about it again. We went through the entire process weeks ago. Why didn’t you ask me these questions when I was explaining it the first time? This is not what I want to do. I don’t intend to send you envelopes of cash in order to teach you about molecular science. Why would I want that? Will you please inform me why I should send you money in order to help you pretend to understand something that’ll never make any sense to you?
    [I apologize. In retrospect, I apologized to Y ____ too often in these kinds of situations, but I had no idea he’d use that against me. Iasked if he would give me the Cliffs Notes version of how the suit and cream worked. He said, “I’m not surprised you’re a fan of Cliffs Notes.” When I told him that this type of response was insulting and sophomoric, he apologized.]
    I’m sorry if what I said hurt your feelings. I’m sorry if you inferred my joke differently than the way it was intended. That was not my intention.
    [Recognizing a window of vulnerability, I again ask if he would provide a rough sketch of the suit and the cream. Again, he sighs cartoonishly.]
    Okay, sure. I don’t see how this will do any good, but fine. Here, in simplest terms, is what we were working on in Hawaii: Are you familiar with Philip K. Dick? Have you ever heard of a book called A Scanner Darkly ? They made a movie about it, too. An animated movie, which I didn’t see. Doesn’t matter.

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