26.3.07

Blood-drive




… I suppose it is a bit funny, when you think about it. I mean, there I am sticking him with needles, drawing blood from his arms – even from his neck sometimes, actually. I mean, he was quite badly scarred by …

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Sorry. I’ll try and be more careful. Tone down the details. Cool. Got it. Can I go on now?

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I’ll take that more as an observation than a question.

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No, I don’t dislike him. The weird thing is that I don’t mind the fact that he thinks I’m one of the undead. What does that say about me, I wonder?

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Yes, I’ve heard of a succubus, but isn’t that kind of a demon who has sex with guys while they're dreaming? I suppose it’s a kind of image for nocturnal emissions, or something like that. That’s the way you’d see it, anyway, isn’t it?

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Florence Nightingale was not a succubus! What a load of …

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The lady with the lamp. Fine, have it your own way. Anyway, going back to my story, he sort of … fears me and reveres me. I can tell he’s trying to snare me in conversation in order to postpone the moment when I have to stick him with the needle.

And of course there is a little bit of magic associated with the act. I mean, we’re not living in the dark ages when they just stuck a hypodermic right into your arm.

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No, it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. But I’ve never met anyone who actually believed it before.

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I suppose he could be fooling. Just making conversation. I don’t think so, though. I know fear when I see it. You see, from this guy’s point of view, he’s caught in Castle Dracula and I’m the Countess Bathory.

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Yes, of course I’ve been reading up on it. Wouldn’t you? How else am I going to make sense of all the stuff he’s babbling to me about? I mean, would it be so bad if he did think he was in his own house, in his own city, with a sexy young vampire coming to haunt him every night and draw blood from his neck.

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Okay, so there is a sexual element in the fantasy. Big whoops. It’s not significant, though. Or I don’t think so.

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Don’t you want to know where he thinks he is? Who he is?

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I’m a little worried that I’m settling into his fantasy world and beginning to enjoy my role in it, too. Why do you think I’m telling you all this? It’s pretty embarrassing, I can tell you. I was never an emo or a goth – I've never had two-toned hair and a pin through my nose …

I’m really worried about this guy. That’s why I’m asking your advice. Not because it's so amusing and makes such good dinnertime conversation -- because I don’t know if I’ll send him over the edge if I play along with his ideas.

On the other hand, if I keep on contradicting him and trying to wake him up to reality, maybe I’ll be doing more harm than good. What do you think? You’re the shrink, even if you are only virtual …

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Sorry. I didn’t mean to be insulting. Honestly. It’s just that I’m at my wits end. I have to visit him every day. Every day there’s a new bunch of stuff to deal with – stories, poems, folktales. He must have been one weird guy even before the fire …

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Oops. Scrub that last bit.

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Of course you’d have to talk to him yourself to make a proper diagnosis. but that isn’t possible, is it? Not with the rules you guys have to follow.

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No. I didn’t think so. Can’t you give me anything, though? Any kind of advice at all.

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Yes of course I’ve tried to get myself reassigned. There’s no fun in feeling out of your depth the whole time you’re working with someone. The trouble is that I’m only there on sufferance in the first place. They’re not exactly overjoyed to have a notorious slut like me working for them.

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No, I don’t think of myself as a slut. But they do, and it’d be stupid to pretend otherwise. If I fuck up this case I can pretty much kiss my career goodbye.

That’s not really the point, though. I want to help this man, not hurt him. What’s the good of waking him up to where he actually is, what’s happened to him? The fantasy may be a godsend, it might be a healing thing for all I know.

It’s not as if he’s going to get better anytime soon – or ever, for that matter. Where’s the harm in thinking he's Van Helsing or Jonathan Harker?

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Huh? No, no, those were just examples. I told you I’ve been reading up on the subject. That’s the odd thing, really. His fantasy is so precise, but it doesn’t tie in with any of the obvious vampire books or movies.

You see, he thinks he’s the poet Ovid.

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