Doc Jelly

August 14, 2018 | Adam Roberts

In this piece, written and performed by Adam Roberts, Doc Jelly is played by a large photo of a Golden Lab Retriever complete with mustache, eye glasses and hat.  Adam does his own voice and that of “Doc Jelly” using a slight german accent for the good doctor.  The piece was performed in:  The strength of Our Convictions:  The Auburn Redemption.  While the piece has a humorous and whimsical tone, it highlights the trauma of having committed a felony and the continual attempt by some incarcerated persons to try and deal with that trauma.

They say that life is a comedy for those who think, but a tragedy for those who feel.  My clownish behavior notwithstanding, I don’t feel too comic.  And it’s not because I have 18 years in prison and 7 more to go before I face the long odds of making parole.  I’m reminded of that od saw:  Wherever you go, that’s where you are.  I’m always going to have to live with the aching remorse of knowing that my tragic actions have affected so many lives, just like there are many people who will never look long enough at me to see past a murder conviction.

Running underneath that is the slightly-more-than-garden-variety neuroses and negative self-talk.  Wherever I go, that’s where I’m at.  Because I no longer quiet that voice with liberal applications of street drugs, I’ve had to learn positive coping strategies.  So I started seeing a doctor.

His methods are unconventional and I like the fact that he has faults of his own.  For instance, we’re both people pleasers.  (Picture)  Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Dr. Jelly Snodgrass, MD, PsyD, with admitting privileges at several local hospitals 

It’s good to see you, Dr. Jelly . . .although it feels weird doing therapy in front of an audience. 

It’s OK, Adam, just be yourself.  We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. 

Perhaps you think, As my wife does, that my sessions with Dr. Jelly are proof that I’ve gone crazy.  But one doesn’t argue with a safety blanket. And you see how good he is.

Jelly, I’ve been having intrusive thoughts . . . 

Go on.

Why do bad things happen to good people? 

The world is an  uncaring place.  What can you do? 

But why did I have to be the bad thing that happened to good people?

Ohh, Kiddo.  You did a bad thing.  But that’s not who you are.  You are a caring human being.

Jelly, at times I feel so alone, which is stupid because there are so many people who love me.

You’re not stupid.  All of us feel alone at times.  Just pant, let it pass.

Jelly, what’s your secret?

I’ll tell you what an older dog taught me:  be brave no matter your size, take naps, hide your favorite snacks, sniff out opportunities, chase after your dreams, when you see loved ones, always run to greet them. 

Jelly, you’re like a motivational speaker.  You’re a good boy.

You are too, Adam.

Thank you for saying that, doctor.  Wanna go outside?