My short Stories

The Psychiatrist.

charlie dimech

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 Chapter 2.
I had first come into contact with the psychiatrist 10 years previously. It was a social gathering. We had hit it off pretty well and he invited me to his home on numerous occasions. A dignified 19thC residence with a refrigerated spring water dispenser on the front porch.Paintings adorned the hallway, highly gifted recreations of nature, and men at work, in a foundry, sheep sheering and meadows, with a little hill in the near distance. These it turned out were the psychiatrists own work.
The psychiatrist had been on the FBIs watch list for some time as were all activists of his ilk. He lent his moral and intellectual support to a good many causes including some of his own creation.
They were always trying to get the dirt on him. Trying to see what if any illegal practices he engaged in. His office files had been burgled twice already. He had cautiously put it down to angry patients.
"You could be set up at any time." I had told him more than once.
"They wouldn't bother." was his usual retort.
Looking back on those conversations as I sat in the back of a train heading north from Yokohama I wondered.
The train sped by a village, its horn blaring. I too was on a list  I was sure, having left the CIA in disgust many years ago.
This is a story which involves thousands of integrity led individuals.Many were in jail. I didn't want to think about it. In this case a road led into Australia, and how far there the tentacles of the machine penetrated was an unknown at this point. It was a road that beckoned, so we took it. We weren't quite ready yet to retire to a small South Sea Island, as much as that was tempting in the current circumstances.
The psychiatrist was peering out the window. I caught his reflection in the glass. He seemed content, strangely pleased. he didn't need the security blanket Uncle Sam provided. That was a certainty. In another life he could have been a Marco polo, a christian monk or even a sea captain.
The train took 2 hours for the trip from Yokohama to Tokyo. A track problem contributed to this. We were back in the air in another 8 hours, using the time for a relaxing sauna before sipping on saki, dressing and heading for the airport.
We checked in our luggage and boarded the plane bound for Townsville, a Qantas flight 9 via Singapore.
We walked right in to a welcoming committee consisting of customs and Federal police on arrival in Townsville.
The psychiatrist and I were taken into an interview room where he proceeeded to outline our position. He took great care before we left to gather together all the available documentation and tape recordings and included some lifesaving videotape. We didn't question why, just relieved to get through.They said they would fix things up for us and we were eternally grateful to these northern Australians?
"No, we're from the south."
After three weeks of sailing the Great Barrier Reef we headed to Sydney in a rental. A trip of 1500 miles, after a gas, guzzle and spray - gas the car, guzzle a beer and barramundi fish burger and spray the insect repellent.
We drove in tranquility. We felt at home here. Maybe we were at home. home is not a place. I have learnt that. it is a state of mind.
In this country however many things were American or at least recognizeable from the US, such as road signs, fast food chains, English, you probably had to go to Africa to really get away from it all, or Russia - 'harashor'. The world is far too internationalized and I repect the French for not wanting to speak English and the Italians for not wanting a Big Mac.
We lowered the rolled up canvas door on the annex to the caravan we had rented for the night, the opening which had allowed a cool breeze in was now letting in the rain.. We could hear the batter on the roof and it felt good to be inside, dry and watertight. The light was dim but adequate and with the vitamin B2 capsules ingested beforehand to stave off a hangover.we polished off a bottle of whiskey as we talked into the night.
I drove the rented combi van and when we reached the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane we stayed three days to rest a little before heading down to Sydney. A  12 hour drive included a short stop at a roadside cafe near  Newcastle at around 4am. for a breakfast of bacon, toast, eggs and coffee. We preferred night driving especially in the hot weather, lack of adequate car air conditioning, and aware also that the road did not pass near the coast on any of the trip south which may have made a day trip worthwhile.
We then made the final dash down the freeway to greet the dawn just as it was coming up over the Hawkesbury river, silver light and golden sunshine in succession over the cloud wasted ridges of the surrounding peaks.- a beautiful and enchanting interlude.
By now it was 6am and planes were coming in quite frequently to land at Sydney airport, as the 10 to 6 cufew ended. All flights were synchronized from every overseas departure point to accomodate the night time curfew.
We booked into the hotel Hilton for the night and handed in the car in William St Kings Cross. We stayed three nights in the city then rented a flat in Rose Bay on the harbour.
We did not care for the trouble we had gotten ourselves into. We were happy,we thought not least reason being the treatment we had so far received by the Australian authorities. We hoped it would hold.
You could smell the salt air, you could hear the waves lapping against the sides, the foundation of the building, and there every man is home because he recognizes something from nature very close to his soul. Anywhere in the world this would feel the same almost. Rose Bay was also a beautiful bay and one of many on the great harbour.
We went sailing. The water was calm and the sun glistened on its surface.after a while we drifted, fished and lolled about on deck, the waters perpetual motion, and sometimes lack of it, lulling me to sleep.
We were well rested luckily, by the time shock set in.
But after two weeks it subsided as quickly as it came, and we were ready for work.