I have once again decided to re-write one of the stories Arthur Slade and I went through and post it. I left the original in it’s place on the blog so you can see the difference between the two if you are inclined to do so.
Thanks for all the excellent help, advice and praise Arthur!
“Thank you for seeing me on such short notice Doctor. I know how busy you psychiatrists are nowadays. No, no, don’t get up. Is it ok for me to sit here? Thanks. Hmmm, very comfy.”
“No couch huh? Ha Ha. Just a joke to ease the tension, well, my tension I guess. I haven’t done this in a long, long time. I guess I should start at the beginning, huh? Why I’m here. Well, not why exactly, I’m guessing you already know that. But more to the point of how I got here.”
“I was raised by my Mom. Just the two of us. I never knew my Dad. We were poor. Not the poor where it doesn’t really show, oh no, I knew we were poor. What people used to call dirt poor. But Mom worked hard. Always had at least two jobs on the go. She was a believer too. Hard core Christian. If we were poor it was because it was a test of the Almighty. And of course He never gives a soul more than he can handle. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that. In fact, I got it pounded into me you could say. By the time I was ten I knew my Bible inside and out. I never did have any friends growing up. It was off to school and then back home. No time for friends Mom would say, idle hands do the Devil’s work! I remember thinking that the kids in Sunday school had friends but I kept that to myself. I knew better than to question my Mom on how God worked. Besides, I could handle it, right? So I was never what you’d call the popular guy at school. I got into fights. I just couldn’t take the kids calling me those filthy names. Weirdo. Nutcase. Fag. Freak. Jerk. The worst part was I’d get a beating with the strap when I got home with Mom ranting on about how I should turn the other cheek, about how He never gives us anything we can’t handle. I’ll never forget the look in my Mom’s eyes the day she died, it was like she finally figured out there was something she couldn’t handle.”
“After her funeral I got things around the house squared away and decided to try my hand at higher learning. Did I mention I was seventeen when she died? Anyway, I sold the house and went to University far away where no one knew me. A fresh start, you know? Medical school. I was good too. Fast learner the teachers said. A natural. That’s where I got fascinated with anatomy. Just a quirk of mine I suppose. How this human machine works. I spent every hour I could in the lab going over the specimens. Then it happened again. The damned name calling. Just because I liked to study in the lab and not party like everyone else. I tried to remember what my Mom taught me but eventually I’d had enough and there was a fight. I put my new found knowledge to good use. The other fellow got hurt, badly. They let me graduate but only because the majority of the teachers were on my side. Honors Student I was you see. I moved again.”
“My first stop was in a small town in Texas. I loved it there. You ever been to Texas, Doctor? No? Well it’s just beautiful. I was in charge of the morgue and Funeral Parlor. Those two jobs do go hand in hand. All that time to myself. Time to study, time to learn. No one to call me names. Or so I thought. It seems that in a small town, gossip is the currency of the dull witted. All that time I was spending alone with the deceased was attracting some attention. I have no idea why. Then the rumors started about bodies going missing. Nonsense of course! But then I heard the names again. Whispered behind my back as I walked down the street. I tried hard to live by what my Mom taught me, I really did. This went on for weeks. Then one day I went into the coffee shop and one of the local punks called me one of those whispered names to my face. I got away with having to pay a fine, but he’ll have the scars on his face for life. I had to move again.”
“Over the years I’ve had to move quite a few times. But as I’ve gotten older, my skin has grown thicker. I try to remember what my Mom taught me, I really do. And it’s been a lot harder for the names to bother me. But, sometimes they still do. Then comes the inevitable altercation, someone gets hurt, and I have to move again. I thought I was getting so much better at ignoring people. But I wasn’t. Was I Doctor? No, don’t answer. We both know the answer to that.”
“Oh I know I shouldn’t have let the accusations bother me to the point of violence this time. But when he outright confronted me in the hallway, well! Something had to be done! I’m so glad he is doing better and can swallow more than liquids now. It was nice of them to let me out on bail, seeing as how ‘nothing like this has ever happened before’.”
“I see you noticed that I brought my medical bag with me. I bet you’re curious as to why. It’s got some of my more favorite tools of the trade inside. Perhaps you heard them clunking about as I sat the bag down? I suppose that by now you have figured out I paid your office a little visit earlier this afternoon. Please don’t worry. The drug I put in your tea won’t harm you in the slightest. You can see, hear and feel everything. You’re just not able to move. While I was here I also read your assessment of me. You called me some very nasty things in your report Doctor. Let me see, what were they again? Oh yes. Sociopath. Delusional. You even said I have narcissistic tendencies. That’s not very nice at all Doctor. Not nice at all!”