Deb: The circumstances under which you were able to maintain a Manhattan address are quite unusual.
Deb: You are living in your uncle's co-op apartment?
Deb: And your uncle is living where?
Deb: In a near-by facility for the Criminally Insane.
Deb: How does that make you feel?
Deb: Like I don't want to touch any of the toiletries he left behind.
Deb: Is there anything wrong with his toiletries?
Deb: Not particularly. Aside from their being old. And possibly carrying the Crazy Bug.
Deb: How serious is his illness?
Deb: My uncle first caught the Crazy Bug around 1966. He got in a verbal altercation with a cabbie, and made him take my uncle to the nearest police station. To settle the matter. Once inside the station, my uncle decided it was obvious he had won the disagreement, so he ran back to the cab and stole it.
Deb: That's strange.
Deb: I believe that's why he's considered psychotic.
Deb: And you fear his mental illness might be contagious?
Deb: If it is, it'll be awfully hard to avoid catching it. Brian and I are two full-sized people living in this 550 square-foot studio apartment. We are up-close and personal with all of Uncle Ira's furniture, his old meds, his toiletries, and his reading material. We have to really work at keeping it from creeping us out.
Deb: But this is not the only thing keeping you busy lately.
Deb: I'm working again, if that's what you mean.
Deb: How is that going for you?
Deb: I went from doing digital retouching in a gallery to being a secretary. My pride may be affronted, but it can't do without the paychecks.
Deb: Is the job that bad?
Deb: Really it isn't. Now that I have a reason to get up and brush my teeth in the morning, I think how nice it was to be chronically unemployed. I remember the long hours I spent staring at myself in the mirror. The enormous amount of long-distance phone calls I made. How there were days I couldn't get out of bed because I couldn't think of any reason why I should. My glory days.
Deb: Tell me one of the best things that has come as a result of your gainful employment.
Deb: My new wig.
Deb: How could I not see that coming?
Deb: After I received my second pay check, my friend Susan and I went wig shopping. She helped me choose a wig that looked just like her hair. It was a very spiritual experience.
Deb: Is this wig special because it symbolizes your phoenix-like rise from the ashes of despair?
Deb: Well, It's special because it's curly. All my other wigs are straight-haired.
Deb: You didn't feel overcome by emotion when you purchased this wig?
Deb: I guess I did. I was had been eating that Veggie Booty snack, and all of a sudden I got the feeling I'd vomit if fake hair touched me while I was eating. I think it's the wig smell. It doesn't mix well with healthful snack food.
Deb: Have you ever worried that this wig obsession of yours may be a symptom of mental illness?
Deb: Wigs may carry the Crazy Bug.
Deb: You know you're being very difficult.
Deb: You are being very difficult.