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The fearsome foursome of mental illness: stuck in traffic

Aug. 12, 2017
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TIERNAN, a 23-year-old writer, is on her way to meet up with her friends at a show in Hollywood. She is stuck in traffic.

TIERNAN: Oh my god, this is a parking lot.

ANXIETY: I told you we should have left earlier. But noooo—you just had to watch one more episode of a show you’ve seen a million times. Think about that. THINK ABOUT IT!

TIERNAN: Okay, I know, I know, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.

ANXIETY: I actually think that you should think about all the horrible things that have already happened because you decided to watch one more episode instead of leaving on time.

TIERNAN: How is that possibly helpful?


TIERNAN: Makes sense…

ANXIETY: If you hadn’t watched that extra 25-minute episode, you wouldn’t have scrambled to get ready, and your makeup wouldn’t look how it does right now—

TIERNAN: (interrupting) Wait, how does it look?

Tiernan checks her appearance in the rearview mirror and winces.

ANXIETY: —you wouldn’t have left the lights on in the bathroom—

TIERNAN: (interrupting) Shit, I did leave them on, didn’t I?!

ANXIETY: —you wouldn’t be sitting in this clusterfuck of traffic—

TIERNAN: (interrupting) Seriously, what is that idiot up there doing?!?

Tiernan honks her horn a few times.

ANXIETY: —and, most importantly, you wouldn’t be running so bloody late! We’re supposed to be there in 5 minutes. We’re 15 minutes away, and that’s without traffic!

TIERNAN: I know, I know, I know. But, look, this light jus—

ANXIETY: Oh my lordy, I didn’t even think to factor in parking! You’re still gonna have to find a spot once you get there. That’s an extra 10-15 minutes added on. You remembered to bring quarters, right?

TIERNAN: Fuck! Okay, I’ll have to text them to say I’m running late.

ANXIETY: Two problems with that. One—your phone is in the back seat. Two—you already said you left 10 minutes ago! They’re gonna know!!!

IRRATIONAL ANGER: What the actual fuck is that moron doing in the middle of the road?!? Can he get any stupider? Jesus!

ANXIETY: Not to mention he just added on even more time to the clock.

Tiernan leans on her horn.

IRRATIONAL ANGER: Swerve and speed around this jackass to show him how to actually drive like a person of normal intelligence. Oooh, oooh, oooh, flip him off too!

Tiernan does exactly that.

ANXIETY: Holy shit, you almost hit the side of their car. We have enough car problems already! Ooh, you should actually think about that right now, too. Think of how expensive it’s gonna be to fix that tire…

IRRATIONAL ANGER: Oh, I know she didn’t just stop at that yellow. SHE COULD HAVE MADE IT! WE COULD HAVE MADE IT!

Tiernan hits the dashboard a few times and screams.

ANXIETY: Also, you still haven’t texted anyone, and now we are officially late. 

ADDICTION: Now would be an excellent time for a Xanax. Just throwin’ that out there.

ANXIETY: Um, we’ll never get there if she does that. And even if we do, she’ll be a gorked-out zombie.

ADDICTION: But a happy gorked-out zombie. Think of all that stress. Poof! It’s gone with the pop of one bar, maybe two. 

Tiernan checks her purse for Xanax.

IRRATIONAL ANGER: You should honestly just punch the dashboard at this point. I mean, did you see what the car in front of you just did?!

ADDICTION: Save your hand from that pain. In fact save yourself from any pain—pop that Xanny!


Tiernan punches the dashboard.

DEPRESSION: It’s okay, sweetie, you tried. There’s no real point in speeding anymore—you’ve already failed. Crying might help, though.


Tiernan slumps down in her seat and cries freely.