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THERAPY  6'2m?f Peter seeks a shrink after denying Jesus

(scene: bare stage, except two chairs DC)

SHRINK -- (bearded, glasses, Austrian accent, enters ahead of 
Peter) Come right in, Peter. Please, feel free to lie down on 
the couch.

PETER -- Thank you, doctor. But if you don't mind, I'll just sit 
in this chair here. (sits)

SHRINK -- Suit yourself. The important thing is just to relax. 
This is a safe place to express yourself, Peter. What brings you 
to a psychiatrist? (sits)

PETER -- Well, I'm not sure. I guess my biggest problem is that 
my Lord died.

SHRINK -- So, what you're saying is that God is dead.

PETER -- Yes. I saw him die.

SHRINK -- You saw God die? Uh huh. (writes) Have you had these 
delusions before?

PETER -- Oh, this is no delusions.

SHRINK -- Tell me, Peter, have you ever spent any time in a 
mental institution?

PETER -- Absolutely not! Maybe I shouldn't have come here. 
(stands)

SHRINK -- (stands) No, no, Peter. Please, sit down. Tell me how 
this all started.

PETER -- (sits) Well, it all started when my family and I were 
fishing.

SHRINK -- (sits, writes) And were you smoking or drinking any 
foreign substances?

PETER -- Doctor! We're orthodox Jews. We don't do things like 
that!

SHRINK -- Uh huh. (writes) Please go on.

PETER -- Well, anyway, he came along and asked me to follow him.

SHRINK -- He?

PETER -- Jesus.

SHRINK -- I thought you were talking about God.

PETER -- I was. I am. See, when God became a man, it was Jesus.

SHRINK -- God became a man? (writes) I see.

PETER -- You haven't heard about Jesus?

SHRINK -- I've been very busy. Please, go on.

PETER -- Well, anyway, the first thing Jesus did was change my 
name.

SHRINK -- Your name isn't Peter?

PETER -- Oh, everybody calls me Peter now, even my mother and 
father. But my name used to be Simon until Jesus changed my name 
to Peter.

SHRINK -- So, this total stranger...

PETER -- ...Jesus, uh huh...

SHRINK -- ...this Jesus came up to you out of the clear blue sky 
and changed your name. And this was alright with you?

PETER -- Yes.

SHRINK -- (mutters, writes) Uh huh, easily manipulated. (to 
Peter) Please go on.

PETER -- Then, I left my family and followed Jesus.

SHRINK -- So, this Jesus fellow changed your name and then asked 
you to follow him and you went with him, no questions asked.

PETER -- Yes.

SHRINK -- Uh huh. (writes)

PETER -- Well, he was the son of God, after all.

SHRINK -- Of course. (writes) Tell me more.

PETER -- Well, he taught us -- me and 11 other apostles -- how 
to heal people, drive out demons and...

SHRINK -- Drive out demons, I see. (mutters, writes) Delusions 
of grandeur.

PETER -- Huh?

SHRINK -- Look around the room, Peter. Do you see any demons 
now?

PETER -- Of course not.

SHRINK -- (writes and mutters) intermittent delusions of grandeur. 
Uh huh. (to Peter) So, did you and this Jesus person struggle 
with demons often?

PETER -- No. Mostly, we just did miracles, like healing people. 
Oh, and we fed thousands of people with just a few of small 
loaves of bread and a couple of small fish.

SHRINK -- (mutters and writes) This gets better and better.

PETER -- Finally, when they tried to arrest him...

SHRINK -- ...they tried to arrest this man?...

PETER -- ...yes...

SHRINK -- (mutters, writes) ...none too soon...

PETER -- ...but then I tried to stop them: I cut off the ear of 
one of the temple guards.

SHRINK -- (mutters, writes) ...extremely aggressive and 
combative. Uh huh. (to Peter) Listen, Peter, do I have anything 
to fear from you? I won't have to call Security, will I?

PETER -- Oh, no. The palace guards were going to arrest the 
messiah! I had to do something!

SHRINK -- And this messiah, Jesus, he encouraged you in this 
aggressive behavior?

PETER -- Oh, no, in fact, he told me to put away my sword. He 
said it was time for him to die.

SHRINK -- He had a death wish? (writes)

PETER -- It's why he came to Earth in the first place.

SHRINK -- It's what I would do if I was God. (writes) And so, he 
died.

PETER -- He didn't die right away. They tortured him first and 
then they killed him. That was the worst part.

SHRINK -- The torture? Yes.

PETER -- No, while they were torturing him. Three different 
people asked me if I knew Jesus. And I denied him.

SHRINK -- (writes, mutters) Denial. Of course. (to Peter) And 
now... let me guess... you're dealing with the guilt?

PETER -- Well, no. Jesus actually predicted that I would deny 
him. He's already forgiven me for that. Now, the people who 
tortured and killed Jesus are looking for the 12 of us too. They 
want to kill all of us who followed him.

SHRINK -- Uh huh. (mutters, writes) Paranoid delusions. (to 
Paul) So, you've come here begging me to stop you from ending it 
all, eh?

PETER -- Not at all.

SHRINK -- Oh. Then why have you come here?

PETER -- Well, after Jesus rose from the dead...

SHRINK -- ...he rose from the dead...

PETER -- Sure.

SHRINK -- (mutters, writes) no grasp on reality. (to Paul) 
...please continue. After this messiah rose from the dead...

PETER -- Well, I had gone back to my family and we were all out 
fishing, when Jesus came and made us breakfast.

SHRINK -- He made you breakfast. The messiah rose from the dead 
and to make YOU breakfast. Isn't that sweet. (writes)

PETER -- Well, anyway, while we were eating breakfast, Jesus told 
me several times to feed his sheep.

SHRINK -- "Feed his sheep"? That's what he told you to do? Feed 
his sheep?

PETER -- He said "Feed my sheep". 

SHRINK -- (writes, mutters) Feed his sheep. 

PETER -- That's what he said. So, what should I do?

SHRINK -- Perhaps you should feed his sheep.

PETER -- But he doesn't own any sheep.

SHRINK -- Uh huh.

PETER -- If he doesn't own any sheep, why would he tell me.... 
(snaps fingers) That's it!

SHRINK -- Excuse me?

PETER -- The Psalms of David always talk about God's people as 
the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Jesus wants 
me to teach his people and nurture them and guide them in the 
ways of the Lord. 

SHRINK -- Peter, I think perhaps we should schedule you for 
therapy sessions three times per week for at least a year...

PETER -- Oh, thank you, Doctor, (shakes hands vigorously) you've 
been so helpful! I know exactly what to do now! Thank you. 
(exits) Good bye.

SHRINK -- (shouts) Your welcome. (to self, exiting) Boy, am I 
good!


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