My Short Stories

The Psychiatrist

by
charlie dimech

Home | "Interior Communications with God." | ESSAYS. | COFFEE CLUB | Thought for the day. | ancient australia-2

 
 
 
Chapter 1.
 
 
The psychiatrist sat alone in his chair. It was near the window.He could hear the sounds that were all around him, the noise of the street, the voices upstairs from the people who shared his large and rambling house and the noise from the kitchen as a mixmaster mixed and blended away to its hearts content. He could hear all of these sounds. They blended together to form a single sound, not quite noise and neither was it music, but he took none of it in. He was thinking of the treatment he would prescribe for his last patient.
 
He knew his condition was serious. The guy was on the brink and suicide was one of his considered options. He felt he had to be short tracked back to reality and he had to consider his available stock of treatment comprehensively, to draw from them the best possible, least time-lag dependant aid. It was not going to be easy. Finally he came up with an idea, a solution perhaps.He would set up an encounter in a room of his clinic with his wife who had left him. It was a risk and it could backfire, but if the wife agreed he would at least know that she cared and this could bring him back from the brink. He rose from his chair in the sure knowledge and satisfaction that he had the right idea and walked outside.
 
The biting cold weather caused him to quicken his pace to his car and he opened the drivers door, then  he backed away, almost without reason, turning he ran back to the house, reaching it just as the car exploded. The ground rocked  as the force of the explosion threw him against the door where he was hit by flying debris  as he endeavoured to insert the key,  but he was still sucessful, his winter clothing offering him some measure of protection from the force and the cutting edges. He entered slamming the door behind him in an instinctive fashion.
..................................
 
The psychiatrist kept a diary. It was to this that he now turned, looking for clues.
He picked up the red covered book.
His name was Block ...  or Mr Redmond. a convicted murderer known to the psychiatrist also as an arsonist. His parole had been sudden,...a few words here, a few  words there. He was a friend of certain people in the legislature of the state of Ohio. One of the conditions of his parole - see a psychiatrist on a weekly basis for a minimum of nine months. The state foot the bill. He had seen him only once. In that interview the man became enraged with the psychiatrist and tiraded him for even mentioning the easy parole. The psychiatrist drew attention to this in his report and preliminary analysis ,handed in to the parole board just two days prior to this eventful day.
 
The psychiatrist left off all further engagements for the day. The car, he had carted away and gave a brief statement to the police. He had no idea, he said, who would try to kill him. If he came up with any ideas he would tell them by phone. If necessary he'd go in person down to the station.
 
Several days passed before he took a walk down to the waterside.It was a fairly quiet day with just a few ferries plying their passengers across the harbour. It was 11am. He blocked the glare from his eyes and wore his usual straw hat. They were late in coming and as they veered into sight from around the corner of the wharf building he recognized Block in the driver seat. Seated next to him was a well dressed man and behind two with open collared short sleeve casuals.
They pulled up in front of him and got out as he walked over to the drivers door. 
 
The waratah was the connection he made at first. The insignia in the middle of the car door as it swung open. Here was a man in the paid employ of legislators who actually belonged to the underground movement notorious for its killings, arson, extortions, embezzlement, kidnappings, and holding to ransom combined with rape and torture of its victims.
I lowerd myself to the ground. The Psychiatrist had brought me along. I stood non chalantly in an obscure doorway not twenty feet from them. but even I knew the meaning of "Waratah".
I fired six shots. Two hit their targets. the remaining men swung around only to be fired at by the psychiatrist who had drawn his gun after stepping sideways at my pre arranged signal and shot both in their right arm as they reached for their guns. I advanced quickly and swung at one hitting him in the head and kicking him in the groin. The psychiatrist took care of the other. The other two were alive. I kicked their guns out of their hands where they lay.
We dared not wait on the outcome of the proceedings. Once aware of the presence of the notorious organization - merciless. We had only one choice -Australia.
As the government was in control of the mob we had to get out quickly and we arranged out travel itinery over the next 24 hours. The psychiatrist begun making plans to seek asylum in Australia, ironically the real home of the waratah.
 
The drive to the airport was hot and sticky due to the extreme swings in the weather patterns we were currently undergoing, and also the old car I had purchased under an assumed name had no functioning air conditioning.
We boarded the plane and left for Tokyo via LA and Honolulu. We would arrange our travel plans from there as well.. The psychiatrist would finalize his business dealings and money transfer from Japan and then fly to Australia.
There was no time to notify relatives or even patients, no time at all. But he would write to his patients once he had the chance.
 
The trip out of LA was slowed by congestion on the runway but two hours later we finally left, took off, bailed out, got the hell out of there. The way things stood there was little likelihood we would ever be able to return.
 
The coast was clear. From up here it certainly was and we, out over the wide blue sea, wondering, perhaps had we lost our nerve? The psychiatrist wondered also out aloud, " Have I made myself indispensible to my patients?" If so, that was good, because it meant a bond had been formed in the lives of some of his patients who had no other. They would grow as a result of it whether or not it was broken as long as they knew he had every reason and all the right in the world to cross the world. He wasn't escaping. He was re routing his attack. The world didn't need him. The world didn't need him dead either. Alive, he could make a difference. This was not what the world wanted for the psychiatrist, but what the psychiatrist wanted - for the world. And he would have his way. He would suceed because everything fell into place now. Thousands of pieces of a jig saw on the turn of an emblem, a waratah, a symbol suddenly, miraculously fell down and patternlike indicated what the missing pieces could be. What many of them probably were and what ever was left unsolved was uninvolved in the first place. His certainty was iron clad.
He drove his mind foreward computerlike and surveyed the consequences of his itty bitty little eye opener. Some outcomes were unpredictable, to some he knew he would never find an answer, but he felt he needed to remain alive for those answers and the solutions which were within his grasp.
 
America had become imperceptibly, like a slight of hand, and overnight almost, the property of gangsters, the property of property itself. It was C18th England and C20th USSR at once. It was losing the battle. It was drowning. But at the same time it was educated enough and free enough to hear the sound and save its own self-esteem. If only it could be strong enough. But this strength had to emanate from outside itself and it had to be the weight of world opinion. The earth was muck, but beautiful areas lived in that muck, and the psychiatrist was one of them. Yes there were many others but not enough to defeat the enemy within. This enemy was on the road to self annhilation anyway, perhaps it would  self-destruct as systemic corruption is not sustainable in the long term.
 
The psychiatrist was on his way across to the other side of the world. The sun was just setting on the coast he was leaving. It had already set on the life he had lived, and as he turned to face me, to buoy me if I needed it, I read the control and contentment in his face which had already marked him as no ordinary man.
 
I writ this naked of literary style. Naked of proof. Naked of the flowery artistry of the writers brush so that you may see it in its simple truth. America is dead. Allie Fox was right. His timing was simply a degree, maybe two, off, but he was dead right and he knew it.
The psychiatrist possessed not what turned out to be Allie Fox's ( in the film The Mosquito Coast) fatal weakness. He was no aetheist.
 
On arriving in Honululu Airport however we soon realized that our plans had all come undone as 12 or 15 men stood waiting on the tarmac, either their guns drawn or their holster showing. It was the FBI, their very presence perhaps trying to get us to give ourselves up.
As we taxied to the docking bay the captain spoke,"all passengers remain seated until advised otherwise ..."etc. we got up and made our way to the rear of the plane. The three flight attendants who noticed us  simply gave us a blank stare. They figured we were a part of the incident, but which part? They were not sure. We decided, we said, to make it easy on everyone on board by alighting first and giving ourselves up. The flight attendants relayed our actions and message to the captain and he to the control tower for there were only four of them waiting for us as we made our way up the disembarkation ramp. That left at least 8 posted at various stages no doubt on the way to the airport exit. A quick change of plan, we decided to take the four and dropped them as they were still looking at their identification photos, and slipped onto another boarding platform. The place was so crowded hardly anyone noticed the caffufle and our escape. We entered another plane and said to the two nearest attendants we needed to speak to the captain who was by this time, serendipitously for us we thought, on board, using the FBI badges as cover. Once inside the cockpit we asked the captain at gunpoint to ignore us until we were in the air, also to ignore mentioning us by any means, saying we were also pilots, to the ground staff in the control tower.
 
The rumour spread among the flight attendants that we were FBI and they ignored us as we took off before the actual FBI men had any clue as to what may have happened. This was how we came to arrive in Tokyo. It was actually our original connecting flight. This meant that in the confusion, or lack of it given the circumstances, even our luggage was tranferred.
As we had issued no further instructions to the captain and as we had not altered the course of the plane the captain knowingly, and sympathetically, lucky for us, agreed to say no more about it and we surprised him him further by showing him our genuine airline tickets.
 
We thought it best  to recover  only part of  our luggage, important documents and so forth and thus  leave no tell tale signs of our having been on the plane.This we did  and got out of the airport in a hurry in a cab.
 
Tokyo that night, as every other night, was brutally babylonian. Noise, lights, and the bane of unculturally transplanted wizardry,(or did they invent them?) multicoloured flashing lights, producing a kaldoscopic headache and an urgent need to find a geisher house. So we did.
 
We were in a safe house situation.Tokyo was as good as the above and the affairs the psychiatrist planned on attending to were attended to overnight almost as far as LA was concerned, thus completing his business and financial affairs before anything could ber challenged in the US. He had taken exact and untraceable measures to achieve this also in the US.
 
We felt safe. As safe as anywhere, and thus we decided to spend some days in the Japanese countryside, enjoying traditional Japanese hospitality and at the same time unwinding from the events of the past 14 days.
 
.........................................................
 
 
The psychiatrist had not gone willingly to the waterside to make his rendevous with death, albeit one which he jubilantly outwitted. But certain strange events took place and culminated unavoidably in that mishap.Having gone to work as usual that day of the car bombing. I received a phone call at around 11.45am. It was the psychiatrist.
"You were right." he said. "They planted the bomb sometime between 11pm and 5am this morning. Without the care you had urged on me I doubt if I would have paid any attention to that gut feeling that saved me."
"Think nothing of it" I said. " I was on to him when I'd seen him doing a job on the cashier soon after he left your office. I recognized him from the photo you still had on your desk when I walked in."
The psychiatrist was not in the usual habit of discussing his patients with me but the file left open on his desk and what I had just witnessed in the car park, given my background with the CIA combined to incline him to open up a little.I was also curious enough to make my own enquiries.
This led me to believe that the psychiatrists life may be in danger, if he rocked the boat. I could tell from giving him this  information that he wanted no part of the muck his client was involved in.
He had enraged Block when he confronted him, and this is what  had led to the scene with the poor carpark attendant.
I had given the psychiatrist one week to come up with his own answers. Then I was to make enquiries.
The obvious question of why? Why had he been released? Had to be answered.
To find out answers I tapped his phone. I knew as well as the psychiatrist that  the rendevous would be dangerous. Thats why I offered to go along. Discreetly of course, and in my own vehicle, parked well away.
 
The psychiatrist received the phone call the morning of the rendevous. It was 7am.
I monitored it. It was from Block.
"Meet me at the wharf. Building 19."
"Why?"
"Don't ask questions. Just come alone."
"And if I don't?"
"Another car bomb."
"Why are you doing this?"
"To see if you will stop hounding me. Is it a deal?"
"OK."
Clunk.
 
Our both combined and separate investigations revealed that the particular incident of Blocks release was orchestrated by two officials in the office of Ted Macking, a legislator from Columbus Ohio. We had not been able to ascertain why. This had left a level of doubt in the psychiatrists mind. If there had been a good reason for his release, surely the psychiatrist could have been informed and should have been.
Perhaps he was a paid informer, a mole.Perhaps he was gifted in a certain area. Perhaps it was a return favour. This seemed probable - but for what we had to find out. To do so meant exposing ouselves to certain risk, but what the heck, it was a chance we had to take.
 
We took it upon ourselves to investigate Ted Macking. He belonged to a group, a gang known as the OK Club of Ohio.
One of their activities was being entertained by prostitutes at a plush hideaway outside of town. Another was child pornography. One other thing we unveiled by accident - the club linked to the murder of a local dancer in Cleveland. This was a memo attached to the first page of a file giving the date and page number of its report in a local paper. The only other item of news on that page was the overseas story concerning the discovery of a new colony of wild dogs thought to be extinct that ranged across Turkmenistan, by natural scientists in that country.The other  interesting piece information was that the nightclub where the poor girl worked was leased from Ted Macking. It was also well known to be the headquarters for the organization Waratah.
 
A call put through to the governor of Ohio revealed the psychiatrists worst suspicions. I had tapped his phone as a preliminary precaution. The Godfather of Waratah was the governor himself.
 
Enough information , we thought, to emigrate, to leave uncle Sam. Enough information to seek to destroy, knowing we had no hope from within, the disease, which went much further than I have just described, from without.
We did not hope for sucess. We knew there was none. But what else could we do. What else was worth doing. What else for two gay bachelors, was worth living for, and, knowing the above, what else really mattered?
 
...............................................
 
The Japanese countryside, it seemed strange, but it shouldn't have was wonderfully sane. Full of courteous people, unwound and unhurried, non-plussed and even a little romantic. Perhaps it was the purple mountains, the white wild flowers, the early morning mists; perhaps it was the absence of straight, plain old commercialism; perhaps it was the peaceful way of life. Whatever it was it was a therapy we both needed. We both participated fully in its restful atmosphere and recharged our batteries. Tomorrow was another day, America a world away and Australia our next stepping stone.
 

<p1

>3


p2