I went to Dr. Fuckalo—

Furcalo, Bernie—

–this morning to talk about whether I need more antidepressants, the Man tells my sister, who’s here for a visit. You know, after my stroke they gave me antidepressants because they said people get depressed after a stroke.

And did you get depressed? asks Ruth.

No, so I stopped taking them, and then I went whop! Bernie sinks in his chair to demonstrate whop! So then I went back on them, and it was better.

So what happened?

After the cancer and surgery complications and radiation, Dr. Fuckalo said it would be a good idea for a little more antidepressant till I get my strength back

When did she say that? asks Ruth.

A long time ago.

It was this morning, I tell the Man.

A long time ago, says Bernie. You know, a lot of spiritual people were depressed. Nachman’s my hero.

You mean, the Breslav rebbe? my sister says. The one who said it’s a mitzvah to always be happy? Ruth once gave us a hanging that says that in Hebrew.

Not just a mitzvah, Nachman of Breslav said it was a very important practice to be as happy as possible, only he couldn’t do it. He was very depressed, says Bernie.

He lost his son, I say.

I’m sure he would have taken anti-depressants if they had them in the Ukraine then.

What else did the doctor say? asks Ruth.

Dr. Fuckolo?

Dr. Furcalo, Bernie.

She said that I should listen to music. Also, she said I should play with some kind of dough with my fingers. Playing with dough with my right hand would help in repairing my brain cells. She also said I should do some therapy.

I think therapy is great, my sister says.

Especially for Zen teachers, says Bernie. People think that if you’re a Zen master you shouldn’t need these things. What do they know?

Is that not-knowing or know-nothings, wonders Stanley under the table.

Bernie, can I blog about this conversation? I ask.

You know that for me there are no secrets, says the Man.

I love secrets, sighs Stanley. I feel so close to the person with the secret, like it’s us against the world.

I’m not sure that’s a healthy perspective, Stan, I tell him.

Who’re you talking to? asks Ruth.

Your sister likes to talk to herself, Bernie tells her.

That’s okay, she’s been doing that her whole life, says my sister.