Summers 9H

Literary analysis was not one of Sumeet’s strengths or even interests — in just two sentences, he had already stated all he could remember from his college Comparative Literature lectures on Kafka — but it was evident that Jane’s interest in the story was significant. “Please, go on.”

Jane walked over to his desk, her face coming in then out of the fading light from the autumnal sun angling through the windows. She stared down at the amber ball in her hands, at the mosquito trapped inside. “I was reading the story again last night, and I remembered what struck me the first time I read it, about a decade ago.” She looked up at Sumeet. “Do you ever wonder why Gregor Samsa stays so calm after he turns into a bug?”

“Hmmm.” Sumeet actually had never wondered, in fact hardly remembered anything about the story after its memorable opening sentence. Perhaps a conversational white lie (it is an odd reaction, isn’t it?) — no, he sensed his patient would not appreciate that gesture. “It’s been a long time since my undergraduate days, Jane. Could you refresh my memory?”

“He never complains.” Jane placed the amber ball on Sumeet’s desk. “Never asks, why is this happening to me? Doesn’t try to figure out a cure. What he worries about, is how he’ll keep his job, and take care of his family, and keep all the furniture in his room.” She spread her arms wide. “Now that he’s this giant cockroach.”

Sumeet twitched his head in agreement. “All right, you’ve identified some kind of theme in ‘The Metamorphosis.’ May I ask — ” he extended his right arm towards Jane — “why do you find Gregor’s reaction so interesting.”

Jane lowered her arms, then loooked down at the amber ball she had left on Sumeet’s desk. She picked up the ball, walked back to the shelf where she had found it. “Gregor remains calm — because he thinks he’s normal.” She placed the ball back on the shelf, turned suddenly to Dr. Patel. “The only thing that’s wrong, is that everyone else doesn’t realize that they’re just like him. That we’re all just a bunch of bugs.”


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