Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hanoi Hilton

I was dreaming about him again last night, and when I awoke, I had done it again. Christ. Thank God for Cindy. She’s been so forgiving, so understanding all these years. Both my shoulder scars throbbed like rifle butts and bayonets, and she told me, when my head was clear, that I had sat on her hip and wedged my foot under her chin and pulled her arm out of its socket again. She couldn't see because she was wearing her sleep mask, the pink satin one that Laura had given her two Christmases ago. As always, she told me I was screaming in Vietnamese. She says that’s what scares her the most because my voice changes and the muscles on my face form words differently. She says I’m a different man.
Dr. Gutt aka Doctor “Pinko” agrees with her and says I take on the persona of my captors because of some homo-erotic need to dominate. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Cindy was furious with me when I called his credentials into question. But I thought it necessary to point out to both of them that he is a plastic surgeon, her plastic surgeon, and not a psychiatrist.
When I asked him why he regarded my nightly terrors as homosexual, he admitted that Cindy had confided to him that I sometimes call her “Lao” when I have her hands riot tied behind her back and her bloomers pulled down around her thighs. I couldn’t believe she told him that. It was her idea to blindfold me for Christ’s sake. She knows how I react to sensory deprivation. I tried explaining that to Pinko, but he just said “mmm-hmmm” and swung his putter.
At least Cindy got a nice cast out of it. She has pink everything. Her shoulder was only sore this morning, but I had fractured three metacarpals in her right hand. “Handshake,” Pinko said, looking at me through a jiggling cube of green Jell-O. “Problem solved.”

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