“All the previous mornings when I’d milk the cow, I’d grab the udder, give a tug and milk would squirt out into the pail.
“I had no reason to question whether or not the milk was a liquid.
“Then one morning, when I started milking the cow – and I can’t tell you how I knew, but I knew, I just KNEW – when I tugged the udder instead of the milk coming out as a liquid, the milk came out as a spray of gas, came out like this thick cloud of concentrated white steam.
“And yet, somehow to my eyes, the gas appeared to be a liquid and went into the pail just as it did everyday.
“It was at that point that I realized – I KNEW – that I was no longer solid, but a liquid, even though I appeared to be a solid.
“This continued for several more mornings – the milk coming out as a gas, but appearing on the surface to be a liquid – until the fourth morning.
“That morning, I pulled the udder and somehow I knew that things had changed, that the milk that came out wasn’t a gas anymore, but a solid, sort of like very thick soft-serve ice cream.
“Naturally, to my eyes, it appeared to be just milk.
“It was at that point that I realized that I was a gas.”
“So you are a gas now?” asked the doctor.
“Technically, yes. However, to your eyes I will appear as a solid. “
“And I am a gas?”
“And the coffee in this cup?”
“A solid that merely appears to be a liquid.”
“Interesting,” said the doctor, leaning back in this chair then coming forward abruptly after a short pause. “I’d like to do a little experiment that I think will help you greatly with some of the issues you are having. Are you afraid of heights?”
“Good. I want you to open the window and stand out on the ledge.”
“But, we’re three stories up?”
“You don’t intend to fall do you?” the doctor asked rhetorically with a chuckle.
“Well then, it shouldn’t be a problem. Now, I need to get something from another room,” said the doctor. “If you would be so kind as to be standing out on the ledge when I get back.”
After five minutes, during which time the patient dutifully placed himself outside on the narrow ledge, the doctor returned with a fan that he plugged into the wall outlet just under the window.
“How much longer do I have to stay out here? Hey, is that a fan?”
“Yes. Now in a few seconds, I’m going to turn it on and I want you to tell me what the air from the fan is,” said the doctor. “Not what it appears to be to your eyes, but what you, to use your term ‘know’ it really is.”
“But, I know what it will be,” said the patient, “Why didn’t you just ask? The wind from the fan is -”
The patient’s words were drowned out by several loud popping sounds as the doctor turned on the fan, causing blue sparks to fly from the outlet and the lights to flicker in the office until darkness prevailed.
Startled by the suddenness and loudness of the popping noises, the patient lost his balance and fall to his death.
As with most patients of the doctor who meet unfortunate ends, his death was ruled a suicide.