Candace Steinberg was the first girl in her family to go to college, the first child to go to medical school, and the first person in her wide circle of friends and relatives to undergo the new science of psychoanalysis. Perhaps it was the long hours of study and the pressure of being a female in an all-male college that started the troubles....the anxiety attacks, the over-eating and drinking, the insomnia...and the strange dreams in the few hours she did get of sleep. She finally sought help from her faculty-adviser at Harvard Medical School, the eminent Dr. Eben Critterdomski. She described in surprisingly vivid detail the visuals, the scenarios, and even dialog among the characters in her dream world and wondered what it all meant. "Dr. C", as he was known to his adoring students, was reminded immediately of the fanciful writings of Lewis Carroll and his "Alice" adventures... He listened intently to Candace's dreams; the rooster that predicted the future using lentils that sang in Chinese, the grandmother who was younger than her grandchildren and had a nose on the back of her head, the shoemaker whose hands were like feet but he still had an opposable big toe to hold the hammer, the little cottage with no windows or doors that called out for help every time newspapers were dropped on its front porch..... At first Candace was frightened by her visions, but Dr. C gradually taught her to be fascinated and even amused by them. She began to record them in stunning journals and used them in her own research papers and thesis projects. She became a guest lecturer who traveled to other schools, conducting symposiums and mentoring other students. Even before she graduated, she was asked to join the psychiatric team at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, where she made incredible breakthroughs with patients who seemed intractable. The faculty at Harvard Medical School gradually fell into her thrall, standing amazed at her crowded lectures, and asking her advice on the most elaborate cases. Finally, when she graduated summa cum laude and valedictorian of her class, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Karl Abraham, Max Eitingon from Berlin, Sándor Ferenczi from Budapest and the New York-based Abraham Brill all clamored for her company and her expertise. Her innate understanding of the human psyche made her internationally famous, even at 28 years of age..... but then, it all began to change. She took longer and longer breaks from her busy schedule. Her sabbaticals away from the hustle and bustle of University life became more frequent, and less productive. Her absences from guest appearances and lectures were more startling and often with no notice. Her unreliability began to outweigh her brilliant reputation, much to the disappointment of her colleagues. And the rumors of her strange private life spread, along with photos and drawings that she made of her dream world. She made entire volumes and photo albums and stacked them to the ceilings of every room of her home. She withdrew more and more into her journals... and the photos that she staged with props, animals, anything that she could find and borrow to express her innermost "stories"... that's what she called them.... her "stories". .....It was Dr. C and a couple of third year residents who went to her house one night after realizing that no one had seen Candace for as much as a month.... They knocked and knocked, and finally called the campus police. The power had been turned off in the darkened house. With flashlights, the officers lead the way into the cluttered maze of rooms and rooms and rooms, hallways and staircases, closets, and more rooms. They stepped over hundreds of volumes, piles of handwritten papers and crumpled photos, printed documents, sheets of music, children's crayon drawings, and cheap prints of famous masterpieces on place mats from disreputable restaurants.... Finally, at the end of one very long and oddly empty hallway they came upon a door that was locked, apparently from the inside. They pounded and pounded, louder and more frantically fearing the very worst. They found themselves crying and shrieking Candace's name, convinced that this is where she ended up, alone and unloved. The officers hammered the door, kicking at the carved panels and yanking at the jiggling knob and hinges until it splintered at last. The closet was large... and empty, completely empty and immaculately clean as if the floor had been swept and mopped minutes before they had gotten there. ...and all that was left, pinned to the back of the door as they turned and saw it was a single photo. ...a photo of a monkey in a rabbit costume, pushing a wheelbarrow filled with assorted vegetables while a sweet-faced dog looked pensively out of a window with no glass. Weeks of elaborate analysis by her friends and associates, detectives, international medical professionals, and even psychics resulted only in controversy and rancor. It wasn't until a few months later that Dr. C noticed the oddity.... the cement path that ended abruptly in the middle of the lawn... with no explanation or reason... and the emotion in the eyes of both the monkey staring steadfastly at the viewer and the dog looking wistfully at the monkey. ...and something more.... wasn't that a face ...possibly behind the dog, standing just to the left behind the curtain? In the dark... there... yes... right there...isn't it...?
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