This piece appeared in the little-known comedy magazine, Odd Ball. Jeremey Erdinger later contacted the editors of the magazine and complained that the resulting conversation was a gross misrepresentation of his character. For our part, this accusation is erroneous. Mr. Erdinger is, by all accounts, a neurotic and overly obsessive individual. The conversation recorded below is a faithful and accurate transcription of the the one that took place.
— So, Mr. Edinger, tell us about your recent trip to Boston?
— Actually, I was in Cambridge, which is a municipality across the Charles River in an entirely different county.
— Okay then, tell us about (ahem) Cambridge.
— There is nothing to say about a business trip really. Although I’ve come to believe that I am prone to anxiety.
— Excuse me? I don’t see what—
— It’s difficult to explain, but at some point during the trip I began to worry what if I left a piece behind?
—A piece? As in an article or belonging?
— No, I mean an actual piece. A piece of me. As though it were just left behind like a sock or a shirt. I did check the room that was provided before I left and made sure that all my belongings were accounted for though.
— I don’t quite—
— It’s somewhat abstract, I suppose.
— Can you elaborate?
— Simply, what if somehow instead of a belonging I actually left a piece of myself somewhere? Like, I just forgot it. That piece laying right there under the bed in the room or in the bathroom. It’s just there and I completely overlooked it in my hurry to get everything else packed and out by the designated checkout time. I was also thinking about breakfast because for some odd reason the hotel put out brownies for breakfast, and so it was quite possible that I just forgot it and it’s still there.
— Breakfast? Brownies? I can’t say that I’m following.
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— Are you . . . ? You know grinding your teeth in that manner will lead to future dental complications. You do know that?
— Is it too difficult to convey the idea that you just left something behind? Not in that sentimental way, like I left my heart in San Francisco BS (although I did share a table yesterday morning with a couple from San Fran and they showed me a map of the bay area. Looked very pleasant), but just a piece, an actual trace or something of that sort. You just know you left it somewhere in that room. Maybe the cleaning woman found it and doesn’t even know what to do with it. Maybe it has been discarded with the rest of the trash from that day. I worry about that kind of thing. I think of it just THERE, without me, as in NOT HERE now. I don’t think it is that hard to imagine really.
— (ahem) And tell us about this anxiety again you mentioned? You did say you were feeling anxious, didn’t you?
— I think what I really said was that I am prone to anxiety and it sometimes becomes evident.
— And are you prone to anxiety now? Is that what is showing here?
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— Are you grinding your teeth again?
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