Prolepsis (pro-lep’-sis): (1) A synonym for procatalepsis [refuting anticipated objections]; (2) speaking of something future as though already done or existing. A figure of anticipation.
There’s a voice inside my head telling me to do things I don’t want to do. This morning, after breakfast, for the millionth time, it told me to brush my teeth. I told the voice that I had a position to take. It was “No.” The voice, Edward 2 (I’m Edward 1), always has a bunch of reasons why I should comply: your teeth will get cavities, your gums will bleed, your breath will stink, your teeth will yellow. We’ve been going through this since I was 11. I’m 32 now, and my ‘inconvenience’ argument has won every time because Edward 2 couldn’t make his BS reasons trump inconvenience—he tried once, about 8 years ago, to show how his asserted consequences posed a greater inconvenience than brushing my teeth. But he failed. Why does he continue trying to boss me around?
Now, I work at a transfer station on the Hudson River. My co-workers call me “Eddy the Tooth” or “Tooth” for short. Actually I have three teeth and they’re on the verge of falling out. This morning Edward 2 sounded like he was mocking—taunting me because of how things’ve worked out. I hate his “I told you so” tone as he tries to belittle me. Well, I’m going to show him! I’m getting dental implants: shiny new glistening white teeth! Edward 2 said: “Go ahead, it’s better than having that stinking hole in your face—go ahead, see if I care.” Finally, I had beaten Edward 2 at his own game. I came in for a smooth landing despite his advice.
I first discovered that things were going wrong when Edward 2 told me to put a plastic bag over my head and jump naked out my apartment window, which is seven stories up from the street below. I told Edward 2 that he was a petty bastard who couldn’t stand losing. His response? He made me to go outside and expose myself to an elderly woman walking home from the grocery store. It is nearly impossible to describe what it is like to be controlled by a voice in your head. All these years, Edward 2 had been a benign presence in my head, trying to steer me in the right direction. Now, he dispensed with reasoning, and had started commanding me to do things—things that Edward 1 was unable to resist.
So, I was ticketed for indecent exposure and had to go to court. As I told my story about Edward 2’s control over me, one of the jurors started to cry. The judge shook his head, as if to say, “Here we go again.” The jury found me guilty. The judge sentenced me to two months community service and 10 sessions with a court appointed psychologist. Edward 2 said: “Make a big loud fart.” I tried, but I couldn’t do it. He swore at me as we left the courthouse, and hummed Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper” really loud inside my head, and then out of my mouth. People turned and looked at me, but I couldn’t stop. I was doomed.
Thank God I was prescribed medical marijuana to make Edward 2 shut the hell up. I was high all the time, but now that Edward 2 was gone, a voice I called Edward 3 started talking. He kept saying “like” and “man” and “far out” and “wow”. He sounded like the guy in “Easy Rider” in the fringed coat. I liked Edward 3 a lot.
My community service consisted of scraping pigeon droppings off of park benches. That’s where I reconnected with the crying juror woman. She complimented me on my teeth, and right then, I knew we were in for something good. We went out to eat at a steak house where I could really show off me teeth—their ability to rip, tear, and chew. Suddenly Edward 2 showed up outside my head and told me to eat my date. In a panic, I ran outside and lit a joint and smoked it like a vacuum cleaner. I heard sirens headed my way. Very high, I went back into the restaurant and there was Edward 2 slashing my date with my steak knife. He was yelling “I am Edward 1, and I am going to eat you baby. Heat up the frying pan.” Shocked and terrified, and disgusted, Edward 3 and I ran out the door, and we’ve been running ever since, even though we were cleared—we are worried all the time that my completely insane identical twin brother will escape from Willow View and try to destroy my life again. Our parents had named us Edward 1 and Edward 2. I was Edward 1 because I was born first. Without thinking, I had named the voice in my head Edward 2. Since my twin has been locked up, Edward 2 in my head has been quiet. It’s all so confusing, but we’re ok. Edward 3 and I listen to music, make brownies, smoke dope, and drink craft beer. We are getting lonely though.
Gruyère tells us: “The sweetest of all sounds is that of the voice of the woman we love.” I haven’t named her yet, but I know she’s in there. It’s just a matter of time before she starts professing her love and we have something like phone sex inside my head.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.
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