Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Triangle Excerpt #11

The Triangle Excerpt #11
Excerpt #11 Copyright 2013
by Stephen Reid Andrews
All rights reserved in the author

“Physically, you seem to be doing fine. In fact, you are in better shape than I would expect for someone who has been in a coma for ten months,” Dr. Jensen says to me as he turns off the glowing pen-light he was pointing in my eyes.
I’m sitting on a medical table, and I anticipate that Dr. Jensen is almost finished with his examination.
“I’ve been working out and running a little,” I say, somewhat proud of myself.
At least this way Dr. Jensen won’t know that I have been doing little more than laying in my bed counting the spots on the ceiling. I am supposed to be leading a normal life so Dr. Jensen can study the effects of the seizures on my brain and see if I am getting better.
“How are your seizures?” he asks me as he picks up my medical chart and begins to write.
Ruminating over the seizure I just had on the trip to Dr. Jensen’s office and the seizure I had two nights ago while I slept, I hope that Dr. Jensen will not suspect me when I give him as little information as possible.
“They are the same,” I say in a matter-of-fact tone. “It seems like the medication has neutralized them.” The last thing I want is for this visit to be prolonged as a result of me telling Dr. Jensen about my recent seizures.
Dr. Jensen peers over the chart at me, obviously interested in the fact that I used the word neutralized.
I shrug my shoulders in response to his gaze. “What?” I say innocently. Although I don’t feel like I need to give any explanation for my response, I do anyway. “I used to be an engineering major, okay.”
Dr. Jensen smiles at me. “Well I’m glad to see you are starting to get back in the swing of things.”
I want to roll my eyes but stop myself out of respect for the doctor. Who made this guy a psychiatrist? He’s supposed to be a physician, I think to myself.
Despite his apparent pleasure with my progress, Dr. Jensen seems skeptical. “We could increase your dosage again if you feel like the seizures are still out of control.”
“No really. I’m doing great.” I’m sure he knows I’m lying.
Ignoring his disbelief, Dr. Jensen writes something unseen on the chart and continues. “Tell me, David, have you had anything unusual or noteworthy happen in the last four months?”
“No. My seizures have been the same,” I reemphasize.
Dr. Jensen looks at me with half of a smile. “I don’t mean physically David. Has anything mentally been happening?”
“What do you mean?” I ask, simultaneously wondering if he is talking about my dreams and again wondering who gave this guy permission to be my psychiatrist.
Silently, I hope I can come up with something that will have him drop the subject of my mental state. I was shot in the back of the head and was in a coma for nearly year. I think that should give me some latitude to have a few mental issues.
Without any fluctuation in his voice, Dr. Jensen explains. “I mean: are you finding that you remember anything more about the events immediately surrounding the time you were injured?”
“You mean shot,” I say annoyed.
I’m getting tired of everyone dancing around the reality of what happened to me. I was shot, and my best friend and only true love was shot and killed. That is what happened, and no amount of sensitivity is going to change it. Despite my irritation, I restrain myself from lashing out in emotion and quickly try to think of a good answer for his question that will not extend this visit.
“Yes,” I say softly. “I remember everything.”
Dr. Jensen looks at me surprised and with some concern on his face. “Really?”
Uh oh, I think to myself as I worry that I have just unnecessarily lengthened the examination.
I blurt out a hasty comeback. “Unfortunately, remembering everything is remembering nothing. I must have been one of the first ones shot because I didn’t see anything. So, there really isn’t anything to remember. I just remember standing in the mall, falling to the ground in blood, and then, darkness. That’s everything.”
“Oh,” Dr. Jensen says as he visibly relaxes. “So you didn’t see the shooter or anything like that?”
I crinkle my brow. This is a weird question for a medical checkup, and, besides, everyone already knows the shooter was that psycho-conservative blogger Bart Paulson.
“Nope. Not a thing. Just remember lying in pool of my blood and my wife’s blood,” I say derisively.
Dr. Jensen must realize he has ventured into a touchy subject for me. “Sorry David. I didn’t mean to make you upset. I just wanted to see if your seizures were affected at all by remembering traumatic events.”
I look down at my naked feet and legs, wanting desperately to change out of the examination gown I am wearing. “Am I done then?”
“Yes, it looks like another CT scan won’t be necessary for the near future. I’ll go fill out a form for a refill on your prescription, and then you are free to go.”
Dr. Jensen stands up from his chair to leave the room, but just before exiting, he turns to me with some parting words and an odd smile. “I’m glad you didn’t see anything David. I really am.”
He opens the door and leaves before I can respond.

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