Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News by Christina Murphy

I went to see a Doctor of Philosophy to treat my case of Plato-Plotinus.

“How long have you been seeing shadows in caves?” he asked.

“For protracted periods,” I said.

“We can treat that phenomenologically,” he said and prescribed a steady dose of Proust to be taken daily.

As a follow up, he suggested a small procedure—a Poincaré to eliminate swelling.

Cixous! Cixous! “Excuse me,” I said. “I had to sneeze.”

“Understandable,” he said. “Just be careful you don’t get a Heidegger stuck in your throat.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“If I may,” he said, “I would like to recommend you try some dancing. Relieves stress. A little Chomsky or Rorty or even a Habermas will do the soul good.”

“Ah, a Habermas,” I said. “I remember it from my youth. Dancing around in slow circles. Such sweet memories.”

“I, too, could dance a pretty fine Habermas in my day,” he said. “On many a fine evening, I would put on Ayers, dance the night away, and finish it off with a glass of Kristeva.”

“What fun, eh?” I said.

“Divine,” he said. “Simply divine.”

“Well, I Kant thank you enough, doctor,” I said.

“You are most welcome,” he said. “I Weill be seeing you in two weeks for a follow up.”

“Fine. Well, I’m off now to buy an Ockham’s razor.”

“What a coincidence!” he said. “So am I. May I join you?”


“Let’s go this way down Kierkegaard Avenue,” he said.

“I have been that way before,” I said.

“Ah yes, repetition and rotation.”

“Is there anything more?” I asked.

“No. Nothing more. That is why I recommend dancing. Shall we?”

He started into the soft shuffle of an Aristotle, and I followed him, dancing from Kierkegaard Avenue to Pascal Way, off toward the horizon, our destination in sight, right under the No Exit sign.

Christina Murphy lives and writes in a 100 year-old Arts and Crafts style house along the Ohio River in the USA. She continues to be amazed at how the Arts and Crafts movement—like the painter Piet Mondrian– found such artistic integrity (and solace) in straight lines and simple (yet complex) forms. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in a number of journals including, most recently, ABJECTIVE, A cappella Zoo, PANK, Word Riot, Fiction Collective, LITnIMAGE, and Splash of Red. Her work has received two Editor’s Choice Awards and Special Mention for a Pushcart Prize.

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