The Tale of The Live Chameleons
2.Malvin, The Doctor and God.
“And do you suffer any anxiety at anytime?” the Doctor asked him.
Malvin continued to stare at the cuffs of his sleeves, his hands together, upturned and in fists. He liked the symmetry, although the scar on his right wrist did spoil it somewhat, made it messy he thought. He pulled the cuffs over his wrist, covering the scar. Making the cuffs line up as neatly as he possibly could he became mesmerized by the stitching that ran around the base of the them, he could probably count all those little stitches if he concentrated hard enough. He was almost a third of the way across the first cuff when…
“Excuse me, Malvin, do you suffer from anxiety at anytime?”
Malvin looked up, the Doctor had a friendly face, a big friendly face, was he from India or Pakistan, probably India? Maybe not though he thought. His shirt had big patches of sweat around each one of his armpits, he was sweating quite a lot actually, like he was nervous, or hot, the room was cool enough though so Malvin concluded he must be nervous.
“Excuse me Dr, do you suffer from anxiety at anytime?” he asked.
Writing something down quickly on his notepad the Doctor, looking intrigued, replied,
“Why do you ask me if I suffer from anxiety Malvin?”
The Doctors’ big brown friendly face looked on eagerly waiting for him to say something; tiny beads of sweat ran down it and sometimes one would drip onto his desk, Malvin noticed the bigger sweat beads seemed to race faster down his face than the smaller ones, he wondered if that was something to do with physics, like when Galileo dropped the melon and the cannonball from that tower in Italy, but they both landed together that time, so that couldn’t be it. Or maybe, he thought, the Doctors’ face was impervious to physics. He laughed out loud.
“Malvin, is everything ok?”the Doctor asked, again scribbling away in his notepad.
“Everything’s cool doc”, Malvin said grinning, “cool as melons.”
“Melons?” the Doctor said with raised eyebrows, “is there any particular reason you said that then Malvin? Cool as melons?”
“I like melons. Do you like melons Doctor?”
“Yes Malvin I like melons, I like all sorts of fruit, tell me Malvin,” the Doctor said thoughtfully, ”as a child where you –“
“Do you like bananas Doc?” Malvin interjected.
“Erm, can we just try and stay on track here please Malvin, yes I do like bananas, now like I was saying, as a child –“
“Which do you prefer best Doctor, bananas or melons?”
The Doctor took a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and wiped his brow, he really didn’t like the way this was going at all. Not one bit.
“Yes!” Malvin suddenly blurted out.
“Yes what Malvin?”
“Yes I do suffer from anxiety sometimes.”
“Oh right, ok Malvin. So when do you find that you are at your most anxious?” the Doctor asked smiling, happy that the whole fruit thing was out the way.
“Well mostly when I hear the voice, in my head” Malvin looked solemnly at the Doctor.
“Voice, what does this voice say Malvin?” the doctor asked, trying to look as equally solemnly back at Malvin.
“Different stuff, sometimes it’ll say Malvin shut up or I’ll just hear him groaning or once there was this massive banging noise that went on for ages”
“So the voice you hear is a male voice then is it Malvin? Do you know whose voice it is?”
Malvin nodded, “I think it might be God.”
The Doctor started writing enthusiastically into his notepad, the way this was going he’d need a new pen soon, did he have a new pen…what if this pen ran out and he couldn’t take any more notes? He started checking in the top drawer of his desk for a spare pen.
“Yes, yes God you say Malvin, interesting. Do go on” the Doctor said with obvious disinterest as he continued searching for a back up pen.
“Well, it may be God, I have done quite a few things that might’ve annoyed him, y’know over the years.” Malvin said, leaning back in his chair.
The Doctor, who still hadn’t found a pen to replace the one he was using (in the likelihood that his current pen should run out), was starting to become noticeably flustered, he was frantically rummaging through the drawer and it looked like the sweat equivalent of a marathon was taking place on his face.
“Doctor, are you alright?” Malvin asked.
“Yes, it’s just I can’t find my damn pen, I’m sorry Malvin, where were we?”
“I was telling you about God. You’ve got your pen there. In your hand.”
“God, of course yes, so what kind of things does he say?” asked the Doctor.
“We’ve done that bit, didn’t you write it down?”
“Yes, yes, sorry Malvin, I just got distracted for a moment, God tells you to shut up and bangs and groans. How does this make you feel?”
“A bit annoyed, but he’s God, so I suppose he can pretty much do what he wants really.”
“Mmmm, so why do you think he chooses to speak to you specifically Malvin?”
“Dunno, he speaks to other people though doesn’t he? Like the pope and vicars.”
“Ok Malvin, but if God does speak to the pope I don’t think he spends his time telling him to shut up or grunting at him.”
“He doesn’t grunt, he groans. And I don’t think it’s for you to decide what God does or doesn’t say to the pope. And anyhow, there’s a chance the voice could be my neighbours voice, Jim. I only ever really hear the voice in my flat and Jim tends to shout and bang round and groan a lot, and you never told me if you preferred melons to bananas and is your pen broke yet?”
The Doctor rubbed his temples, bowed his head silently and started to look like he was in either deep concentration or deep prayer when really he was in deep panic and deep prayer. Pretty much as soon as met Malvin he began dreading these appointments with him. In all his years he had never met anyone like Malvin that had tested his patience as much as he had, and he prayed he would never meet him again after this whole ordeal was finished. He was set for another three weeks then their sessions would be over and he would be free. Over the past month he’d lost weight and couldn’t eat properly because of Malvin. He’d also began sweating more than usual during the days leading up to and after their sessions. He was becoming a wreck. But just three more weeks to go, that’s all. Three’s the magic number. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about spare pens, or fruit, or sweating or what god talks to the pope about. But there’s still three weeks, that’s twenty-one days, that’s five hundred and four hours, that’s thirty thousand two hundred and forty seconds, oh please someone, a whole three weeks left.
As he tried to regain his composure, the Doctor stared at the cuffs off his sleeves then straightened them, tapped the tip of his pen on his notepad and wrote just three words.
‘GOD HELP ME’