2010-01-25: One Flew Over... (Phantasm)



Posting Date: January 25, 2010


A deluded man and a therapist chat. No progress is made on either front.

"One Flew Over…"

NYC Mental Hospital — Therapist's Office

Lee is, according to the notes, disturbing the other patients and has had to be medicated several times. Being incarcerated here keeps him from being in a darker place. You can't blame an Evolved if their mind is broken.

The state mental hospital is run-down, the strain of the war has hit everyone's budget. He sits in the therapy office, chin in his long-fingered hand.

Against the white tiled hallway, a pair of black pumps clip clop towards the therapy office. The door to the office opens, producing Dr. Falkland, dressed in a white lab coat, black pants, and a black blouse. Her blonde hair is pulled into a tight ponytail — a type of protection in itself.

"Mr. Jones," she says coolly, an edge of sorts in her voice. "My sources tell me you're being very naughty. Tell me, why do you insist on trying my patience time and time again. You know I don't enjoy our little chats in my office." There is an obvious tone of bitterness in the therapist's voice. The war has brought a coolness into her interactions with all patients or clientele.

Lee replies, "We can chat somewhere else, then, or just pretend like we did. It doesn't make any difference." The medication mutes his own bitterness, makes it seem a bit more pathetic.

"You don't want to chat, then?" Sydney quirks an eyebrow expectantly as she sits in her chair, staring openly at Lee. "Why do you insist on being such a disruption to the peace of this place? People come here to get better, not be tormented further." Although, by now, Lee would know that very few — if any — ever leave the asylum.

Lee mmfs. "I'm not the disruption." he says, folding his arms. "The truth can't be a disruption, can it? That's a philosophical question I doubt you're qualified to answer." he says, sneering, although again, mutedly.

"Oh?" Sydney tilts her head in feigned interest. Pressing her lips together, she studies Lee a moment. "And what truth would that be, Mr. Jones?" The jibe at her qualifications is pointedly ignored as she plucks a notepad from a table next to her chair and a pen from her coat pocket.

Lee says, "The guy was complaining the government was out to get him even though he wasn't Evolved. I told him that it didn't matter because this isn't actually happening. This is all some kind of ridiculous dream sequence, someone's nightmare. It's not real, not at all." He shrugs. "He got excited." To say the least.

Sydney hrms. Her lips press together into a thin pink line before she purses them. "I." Huh. There's a moment as the therapist considers her thoughts. "You're giving into your delusion again, Mr. Jones. We've discussed this." There's a pause before she says blandly, "We've been through this. I'm real. You're real. You think because you are…"

Lee throws up his hands. "Oh for god's sake, will you listen to yourself? Listen. Explain to me what is going on out there. A so-called 'war'. Apparently concocted and conducted by people who don't know anything about war." he says. "What it is is the diseased imaginings of some moron who has never actually read about how wars go. Tell me I'm wrong - you can't!" he says, angrily.

"You're experiencing another delusion, Mr. Jones," Sydney says blandly with another tilt of her head before bringing her pen to her lips. "Wars aren't meant to make sense. People gather where fear is present. The war exists because too many gave into fear too quickly." Her lips curl downwards into a small frown. "Why do you refuse to see the truth?"

Lee hahs dismissively. "War is the continuation of politics by other means. It's basic. Clausewitz. Page one, chapter one." He points his finger at his palm. "Even a civil war would have some political aim. What is the political aim here? Extermination of Evolved? Impossible, the origin of the Evolved - according to the current non-theory about them - is due to biological pressures, they'll just return. Control of them? Impossible by current methods. To believe that all this is real you have to believe that everything we have learned about war and politics for the last thousand years is wrong. Which is crazier?!"

"You know we don't use the word crazy in this office, Mr. Jones," Sydney says coolly before she clucks her tongue. "Not accepting the truth of circumstances is, using your own word, crazier. Acceptance would earn you a trip out of here. You know that, yet you continue to reject the truth in front of you. What you see, what you hear, what you feel — these are real." She blinks and suppresses a sigh before shaking her head again, "Think on gang wars. Competing factions. This is no different. Hate is hate. People have killed for less."

Lee's speech becomes pressured, accelerating,"Killed, yes, but it's not murder, it's war, yes? That's what everyone calls it, but think about this. How do you win this war? Who is going to surrender? To who? What is going to happen then? It's ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous. My own circumstances don't matter either. They don't matter!" Well, that's probably why he thinks this way, something in his own circumstances. "Dream sequences are such bullshit. It's such a crutch. Can't they show us the internal thoughts and beliefs of a character through, I don't know, action that actually matters?!"

Sydney hmms again, this time quieter than the first. "There's no reason to become excited, Mr. Jones. You have my attention. There's no reason to become excited." She frowns before she shakes her head. "So are you saying that you find dreams irrelevant? Or are you suggesting that action is more important than thoughts and beliefs?"

Lee says, "Of course! Good intentions don't mean anything if you're not actually doing things about them." He subsides a little, crossing his arms again. "I don't mind a decent dream, but this one is SO ridiculous and it's going on WAY too long, at least from my current perceptions." he adds archly.

"And what don't you like about the current dream, Mr. Jones?" Sydney asks as she scribbles a few notes down on her pad of paper. "What makes it so unbearable for you? And, if this is a dream, why can't you just change it… or wake up?"

Lee replies, "I don't know, probably there's some dreamshaping jerkoff or telepathic moron keeping it the way it is. Well, I just told you, first of all, it's not real, and second of all, it's completely unbelievable, like, I can't get into it at all. Can you?! Can you seriously say that you really believe what you're being told about how things are out there? Superpowers, bad enough, but then a 'war'? Ugh."

Well that's odd. "So you don't believe in Superpowers even though all of the evidence suggests the contrary?" Sydney bites her lower lip. The rantings of crazy people are enough to drive a person mad. "It's not what I'm being told, Mr. Jones. It's my very life. Everyday I live and breathe this war and perhaps you've been in here too long to remember the true horror of it all, but it's still happening. People are being kidnapped. Children are being killed. It's all quite unsettling for most people."

Lee says, "Oh no, I wouldn't be lucky enough to discover that superpowers aren't real." rather wryly, but snaps his fingers at her statement: "Well, of course, it's a nightmare. It's all about fear. You don't have to tell me that." He seems slightly confused, like maybe she did need to tell him. "It's ridiculous, a ridiculous situation."

"Ridiculous or not, I'm still left wondering why you won't accept reality for what it is. Acceptance is the first step on the road to recovery. You know you suffer from delusions…" Sydney says idly. No, it's not conventional or particularly therapeutic, but Lee's rants have done their number on the blonde therapist. "If you continue to persist I'll be forced to up your meds."

Lee ughs. "That won't do any good." he says. "I know you think they're delusions, isn't that enough? Gimme a break." he complains.

"Well then tell me what would do good, Mr. Jones. I'm afraid we're running out of options short of putting you in isolation in a straight jacket. But you haven't given me reason to think you'd harm yourself… or others physically," Mentally, Lee's already done damage. Sydney crosses her arms over her chest.

Lee exhales. "I won't argue with the other patients, how about that? Come on, you know if you discharge me it's right into a camp - which if you think about it is yet another frickin' signal that this is all made up." he can't resist adding on.

Sydney rolls her eyes and then nods. "Fine. No arguing with other patients. And if I catch you doing it again… well… we'll have a more serious chat." The if is said with some trepidation, almost assuming it'll be a when rather than an if. "Alright. God-willing you and I won't be chatting again." That said she stands to her feet once again. "I'll have the orderly see you to your…" room? Instead of filling in the word she asks instead, "Unless there was something else you wanted to discuss…?"

Lee sighs, "Not much point, is there?" He goes to the door and pauses. "Is, uh, did my sister call this week?" He asks every week, the answer's always the same.

Sydney frowns and shakes her head slightly, and then somewhere from within her cold exterior there's a moment of empathy with what may or may not be a white lie, "We've received very few calls though. The lines don't work well anymore. And service on anyone's end is unreliable at best…"

Lee says, "Sure. Sure, right. Why would it matter anyway." he trails off into his own mind again.

Watching Lee leave the office, Sydney just shakes her head. "All a dream," she scoffs to no one in particular before she sits down in her chair again and reaches into her desk, extracting a small metallic flask which she opens and raises to her lips. After swallowing she turns to look wistfully out her barred window — the blackness of the outside world lit up only by explosions from the war itself. "If only that were true…"

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