"You're not superstitious, are you?" he said.
"Some people believe that, if their picture is taken," he said, "the camera captures a little piece of their soul."
"I want to know what's going on," I said.
"Sit down and I'll tell you," he said.
"Make it good, and make it quick," I said.
"Good and quick it shall be, my friend," he said. "My name is Felix Koradubian. Does the name ring a bell?"
"No," I said.
"I practiced psychiatry in this city for seven years," he said. "Group psychiatry was my technique. I practiced in the round, mirror-lined ballroom of a stucco castle between a used car lot and a colored funeral home."
"I remember now," I said.
"Good," he said. "For your sake, I'd hate to have you think I was a liar."
"You were run in for quackery," I said.
"Quite right," he said.
"You hadn't even finished high school," I said.
"You mustn't forget," he said, "Freud himself was self-educated in the field. And one thing Freud said was that a brilliant intuition was as important as anything taught in medical school." He gave a dry laugh. His little red mouth certainly didn't show any merriment to go with the laugh. "When I was arrested," he said, "a young reporter who had finished high school -- wonder of wonders, he may have even finished college -- he asked me to tell him what a paranoiac was. Can you imagine?" he said. "I had been dealing with the insane and the nearly insane of this city for seven years, and that young squirt, who maybe took freshman psychology at Jerkwater U, thought he could baffle me with a question like that."
"What is a paranoiac?" I said.
"I sincerely hope that that is a respectful question put by an ignorant man in search of truth," he said.
"It is," I said. It wasn't.
"Good," he said. "Your respect for me at this point should be growing by leaps and bounds."