It's All in Your Mind, Part 1


Tabula Rasa

I was studying for my big math test when Vanessa marched into my dorm room. “Joe, I have a proposition for you.” I turned around to look at her. She was dressed typically, which is to say scantily and temptingly. Vanessa is very attractive, and knows it. She’s been dating my roomate, the football star, for the last six months, and frankly I think they deserve each other. “I caught Matt cheating on me, and I want revenge.”

I can’t deny that I smiled a little. “Well, if it’s for a good cause, I suppose I’d have to.”

“Not like that you...yuck.” She stormed out, slamming the door behind her. A moment later she opened it again, making an obvious effort to control herself. Not something she has much experience with, from what I’ve seen. “Control your hormones Joe. If I wanted sex I assure you I could get it from someone more fun than you. Although it’s tempting just to see Matt beat you up for it. No, my plan is far more subtle and interesting. I know you wouldn’t normally be inclined to help me, but I thought you might agree that we could collaborate for mutual benefit.”

“Tell me your plan and I’ll decide.”

The plan proved devilishly simple. Vanessa the psych major would prepare a tape with some hypnotic commands on it. My job was two fold. First, I had to find a way to give him a chemical she called sodium something or other. She explained that it was an hypnotic, a chemical which drasticly increases susceptibility to hypnosis. Second, I would place the tape by his head that evening and play it. “I suppose I’d be willing. What are you going to make him do? And why not just sleep with him again and do it yourself?”

She winced. “I didn’t just catch him cheating on me; he broke up with me. As for the tape, it’s a surprise. But trust me, it’ll be fun. It’s worth it for you; you don’t have to do much, and you’ll get to see the effect more than anyone.”

I considered. On the one had, it was tempting to refuse just to spite her. She was never very nice to me; until he started dating her, Matt usually tried to be at least civil to me. She encouraged him to treat me like the dirt she thought I was. On the other hand, I didn’t mind seeing something happen to Matt. Besides, she’d just find another way to do something to him, and I’d gain nothing. “Fine. Just give me the tape and the chemical, I’ll handle the rest.”

“Beautiful.” And she stalked out, nose in the air as always.

It took her almost a week to finish the tape. Matt spent most of it flouting his new girlfriend, Annie, one of the cheerleaders. She wasn’t as offensive as Vanessa, and I couldn’t imagine her carrying out revenge on Matt at some point later either. Actually, I couldn’t imagine her doing anything which required her to remember something for five minutes.

I did finally get the tape on a Tuesday, and began trying to find a way to get Matt to drink the chemical Vanessa had given me. My opportunity came the next evening, when Matt left a beer open while he went to the bathroom. I poured the stuff in and got back to my books just in time to make it look like I hadn’t done anything. I watched Matt out of the corner of my eye as he drank the beer. When he took his next gulp his nose wrinkled, but as he chugged the rest of it down, he seemed to relax. It was only eight, but after a few minutes he called out “Yo, I’m tired. I’m going to sleep now. You’d better keep quiet.” Endearing as always. After a few minutes I heard his breathing become regular, so I put Vanessa’s tape into my walkman and slipped it under his pillow.

I knew that the effects would take a few days, but I kept a very close watch on Matt for any change. After only a day or two he seemed much more mellow. He didn’t yell commands at me anymore, but seemed polite and almost deferential. One day he even offered to get me a beer when he went to get one. He began wearing the tape on his own, in his walkman, which was nice because it meant I could listen to my own music at night. After a week had gone by, all he had done was break up with Annie, so I asked Vanessa what was going on.

She gave me a condescending glare and responded, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, “I haven’t triggered anything big yet. I didn’t get a tape to Annie until two days ago, and I can’t proceed until that part’s in place too. Don’t worry your little head about it, the fun will begin soon.”

It wasn’t until the next Friday that I noticed something. To start with, he didn’t go to a party. When he turned on the T.V. (yes, we have a T.V. in the room. We split the cost, although he seems to be the only one who uses it) he fiddled with the channels for a while until he found, not football or racing, but Loony Toons I could hear him giggling as if it were the funniest thing in the world. I guessed that this was the result of the tape, and began paying more attention to him than to my studying. After a while he got up and went to the fridge. He searched through it for a minute, then said, “Joe, I need a drink.”

“There’s nothing in the fridge?”

“Only beer. Could you get me some soda?”

I tried to suppress my smile; apparently Vanessa had made Matt think of himself as a child. Normally I wouldn’t do anything to help Matt, but in this case I decided it was worth it. “I suppose I could go get some. Can I leave you alone for a few minutes?”

“Uh-uh. I’ve got Teddy to p‘tect me.” He walked over to his bed and pulled out a brown teddy bear. I’d never seen it before, but I figured it must have been Vanessa’s doing. I walked over to the door, and was about to open it when Vanessa and Annie walked in. Vanessa didn’t seem to be in the process of murdering Annie, which made me wonder what she was up to.

“Matt, this is Annie. She’s going to be your babysitter tonight.” Annie was dressed oddly. She seemed to be dressed more conservatively than usual. The frilly dress she was wearing seemed more appropriate to a child than a college student. “Come on Joe, we should get out of her way. I’m sure she can take care of Matt. She even brought Candy Land.” I saw a huge smile cross Matt’s face.

Stunned at the effect on both of them, I let Vanessa lead me out of the room. Once Annie closed the door, waving and smiling broadly (“Wave good-bye to Joe and Vanessa, Matt.” “Bye-bye ‘Nessa. Bye-bye Joey.”) I asked what was going on.

Vanessa, typically, rolled her eyes at me. “Isn’t it obvious? She thinks she’s a teenager babysitting Matt, and Matt thinks he’s a four year old.”

“I thought the whole idea was we got to watch them embarrasing themselves.”

Here Vanessa sighed. “We will, we will. The game is only just beginning. By the way, aren’t you meeting someone?” “Um, yeah. I’ll see you later.”

I looked at the door beside me. Cool; I’d found the right house. I knocked nervously, and Annie opened up the door. She was wearing a fancy dress which seemed a little childish, but she looked really hot. She was babysitting some kid, and had invited me to come over. I looked around the room. The kid looked like he was about four years old. He was wearing a football jersey and jeans, and was watching Loony Toons. “He’s just watching T.V.” Annie said, “we can have some time together.” She led me over to a bed, and we began kissing. I’ve always been a little intimidated by her, since she’s sixteen and I’m only fifteen, and she was really popular too. It seemed a little odd that she would date me, but somehow it didn’t bother me. We started making out on the bed, and I reached my hands up her shirt. She’d never let me feel her breast before, but this time she did. Suddenly the little boy called out, “I gotta go potty.” Annie struggled away from me. “I’ve got to take care of him. Come on Matt. Let’s go.” I was so close, too. When she led the Matt out of the bathroom she said, “Okay Matt, it’s bedtime.” “I don’ wanna.”

“I’ll make a deal with you. Joey and I will play one game of Candy Land with you, and then you go to bed.” “‘kay”

I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect, but I figured that the sooner the brat went to bed, the sooner Annie and I could be alone. In fact, the game wasn’t bad as bad as I expected. I pretended not to enjoy, ‘cause I’m a big boy, unlike Matt, but it was kind of fun. It was really fun when I won, but then Matt started crying and Annie made me say sorry to him.

“Okay Matt, bed time. Joey, you can watch T.V. for a few more minutes while I put Matt to bed.”

Loony Toons was on, and it was SO funny. Matt sulked and made it tough for Annie to get him ready for bed, but she managed to take off his clothes and help him into his sleeper.

Then she came over to me. “Okay Joey, bedtime,” but then the mommy came in.

She smiled looking around. “You’ve been very good Annie. Why don’t you go to your room and get ready for bed, and I’ll put Joey to bed.” “Okay Vaness...mommy” Annie answered, and skipped out of me and Matt’s bedroom. It’s not fair that Annie gets her own bedroom. Mommy says it’s cause she’s older, but she’s only eight and I’m six and I shouldn’t have to say in a room with a baby.

“Bedtime Joey” mommy said. She unbuttoned my pants and pulled them off. “Like superman” and I put my hands in the air and she pulled off my shirt and then she pulled off my underpants. And then she went to a drawer and got out pajamas for me and she helped me put them on. They were made me laugh ‘cause they had Loony Toons on them and that made me think of the Loony Toons I had watched, which was really funny. Then mommy tucked me and Matt into bed and turned off the light. She put on some music and I felt really sleepy and she said “Sleep tight boys. We have a big day tomorrow.”