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Groundhog Day

July 22, 2013

And so you’re back from outer space.

The doctor gently, carefully pushed the tobacco down into the ivory pipe with the pipe tool. These moments, the ones that took his brilliant, well-educated mind off of the task at hand, that afforded his deeper unconscious to work on the problem and sometimes provide valuable insight.

He lit the wooden match with his right hand, and puffed. Then he waved the fire away, plinked the match into a large smoked glass ashtray set in a cedar base.

He was ready. He switched the tape recorder back on.

“Continuing. Despite the obvious, the subject displays no particular overcompensation. No displays that would be taken as overly masculine. In that regard, subject appears to be well-adjusted. Fear, paranoia, delusions, are no respecter of gender.

“However, there are definite control issues. While such ideas have been generally discredited today, there does seem to be some classic Freudian complex related to toilet training. Attempts to persuade subject to discuss those issues are met mostly with changing of the subject and no amount of steering the conversation back have yet been successful.

“In most cases, subject either presents statements to the effect that he is some sort of interrogator or torturer, or focuses on a subject, which, in his delusions he has either animalized a human, or anthropomorphized an animal.

“While the former delusion seems to bring feelings of pleasure–it should be noted, typically inappropriate sadistic pleasure–the latter seems to evoke depression, manic laughter, and a strong verbal desire to ‘get drunk.’ I insert another section of the most recent session:”

The doctor flipped on the reel-to-reel and placed the handheld microtape device next to it on the desk.

It knows. It knows!

It knows, what?

Things it shouldn’t! Things it can’t!

He flicked off the reel-to-reel and released a puff at the same time for dramatic effect. He picked up the small recorder.

“Current hypothesis is that somehow, this thing, this ‘character’ that the subject’s mind has created is an all-knowing, all-seeing entity. Suggests that it is an extension of subject’s mind and, being unable to recognize it as such, subject believes that this entity can read his mind, understand his motives, and somehow resists subject’s attempts to gain control over it. Simply put, subject wants desperately to hurt the entity, ‘the coyote’ as subject refers to it, but despite what the subject views as well-laid plans, difficult and emotionally and physically draining work, subject is unable to create any lasting effects on his imagined nemesis. He relives this struggle day after day, believing he has made some progress in hurting it, and in so doing, helping himself, only to awaken and find he is in the same place as yesterday, has made no progress whatever.

“Question: could it be that subject unconsciously recognizes that he is ill and these fantasies represent a way of externalizing the problem, a way of making it physical, and therefore capable of being dealt with?

“The next part to be played,” the doctor fast-forwarded the reel-to-reel and watched the counter carefully to find the right point, “shows…that subject also sometimes feels as though his ‘victim’ is actually his tormenter:”

The doctor turned the wheel to play and again set the reel-to-reel to ‘P’.

I…I…

Say it…

I…should…never… No! I won’t say it! I won’t! Stop looking at me with those eyes…those damn predator eyes! I see Hell in those eyes!

Say what, Nancy? What does the coyote want you to say? It’s alright. You’re among friends. You’re safe.

I should never have f***ed with the coyote!

The doctor shut it off and stared off into space, perhaps into some alternate reality, attempting to comprehend what his patient saw.

“Despite the fact that we have yet to communicate that in trying to hurt his imagined nemesis he is only hurting himself, I cannot help but think we’ve had a breakthrough. This gives me hope.”

The doctor puffed again, smiled, and switched off the recorder.

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From → NKINTRA, Short Story

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