My Psychiatrist tells me that I should write down the story of how I came to be on her couch, so that her friend Mr Double can read it. I don't know who this Mr Double is, but my story has been over the newspapers for a few weeks, so why not ?
I should start by introducing myself, and telling you how it began. My name is George (I'm sorry, but that's the most I'm going to give you) and I was a management consultant living in Essex in the south of England. I had a happy life, being divorced from my wife of 10 years, I had experienced a new found freedom, to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. I seemed to find so much time to visit friends and 'chew the fat', whereas when I was married to the hag, we never seemed to go anywhere that wasn't related to her work. That freedom has changed now. I never thought I'd say it, but I almost wish I was back married to the hag again. At least I had more freedom when I was married to her than I do in Prison. I've been here for the last 2 years following the same routine every day. I have had a session with the prison psychiatrist at 1pm every day for the past 2 years until last week when my Psychiatrist changed the appointment time to 4pm.
I was a little surprised that first day when I walked up to the door which had previously said 'Dr Emanuel Jones' to find that it now read 'Dr Jane Waynebridge', and had been repainted. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised really, as there had to be a reason why my appointment time had changed.
"Knock and enter." The guard behind me ordered. I should point out, that the guard was there more for my protection than anything else. I quickly followed his instructions.
There were yet more changes inside, and the room now had the feel of a genuine Psychiatrist's office, rather than the police questioning room it had imitated before. At first I didn't realise anyone was in the room, as the chair behind the desk was facing towards the window. As I stepped into the room however, the chair turned around and I was faced with the smiling, dazzling face of my new Psychiatrist. I estimated her age to be around 28 or 30 years old, blonde hair, blue eyes, soft young skin and a body to die for. What they were thinking putting such a honey in the role of prison Psychiatrist I don't know - How she could survive some of the rapists and psychopaths I'd run into in here, I really don't know.
While I was stood in the doorway gaping open mouthed, The Dr widened her smile and said "You must be George *******. Please shut the door and make yourself comfortable. I will be your Psychiatrist for the remainder of your stay here as Dr Jones had to retire. You've already noticed my name on the door, but please call me Jane. I feel that a Psychiatrist can't do a good job of getting to the patients problem when too much formality is used. " By this time, the door was closed, I was seated in a comfortable leather armchair on the other side of the desk from Jane, but my mouth was still open. "It seems that Dr Jones lied about his age to get the job here, and was still working at age 70 because of it. " She went on. " You seem a little surprised to see a woman working in this kind of position in a prison ?"
"I must admit, I am somewhat surprised. " I replied. "I hope you can look after yourself, there are some real nutters in here. "
She waved her hand towards the shelves on the wall to her left (my right), and said "UK kick-boxing championships 1998 and World Aikido championships 1999 - second place. Both championships were mixed gender. The men may be stronger, but I'm very fast and use their weight and strength against them. One of your fellow inmates from two cells down tried to jump me in a corridor and is now in the infirmary, so I think the word is out. "
"I must say, that even when I saw your name on the door, I didn't expect someone as young or attractive as you are. " I replied. She reddened slightly and looked over the papers in front of her on the desk.
"I'm afraid that there is another thing you should know " She said after a brief pause " Dr Jones was a very bad Psychiatrist. It's not very professional to say that about a colleague, but the notes he probably appeared to be writing in your' sessions were simply doodles. I believe that you may be in a position whereby your sentence can be vastly reduced by our sessions here, and will be doing everything I can to make that the case, with a little help from your lawyers of course. " She even managed to persuade the head warden to let me stay on after hours if we were having a good session. "The first thing we need is to get to the bottom of what happened and why....to catch up on what happened just over two years ago. Why don't you give me a little background about yourself, then start from the beginning of that week. "
"I married at age 18 to my grammar school sweetheart, which turned out to be a big mistake. We didn't really find out we were unsuitable for each other until I left University and got a job. I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice to say, we battled it out for 10 years and then finally got a divorce. That was 5 years before I landed up here. I had been enjoying a few casual flings, and a semi-serious relationship which also didn't work out, but was perfectly content to spend lots of time socialising with friends, and going away on weekends wherever I felt like going. It was on one such occasion, that I found myself at a business convention in a hotel in Milton Keynes. I walked up to the reception desk and found myself standing next to Derek, an old school-friend. We spent a lot of the weekend catching up, and ended the weekend by inviting me over for a meal the following Friday evening.
Friday came, and I looked forward to the evening very much. It had been about 7 years since I had seen Derek, or his wife Nancy. As I remember, their daughter Victoria must have been around 14 months old when I was at their house last, and we kind of drifted apart because my wife was bitter about being unable to conceive. I pulled up in the driveway of their large detached house, and rang the doorbell. After a short pause, I heard rapid footsteps on the other side of the door, and it was opened by Nancy.
"George ! " she exclaimed " You've hardly changed at all. I think we are going to have to change your nickname now though - Not quite the 'Porky' that you used to be. " Nancy led me into their spacious living room and offered me a drink. " Let me guess, " she said "Vodka and still orange ?" I smiled and nodded. Maybe I hadn't changed much. George came in as Nancy was pouring me the drink, and at first I didn't notice the little girl hiding behind him. He had always been a little flamboyant, and still was. He was wearing a burgundy coloured smoking jacket in an Edwardian style, which almost completely covered the girl behind.
"George - Howza ! " he said " I see you've already met Nancy again, but let me introduce you to someone who hasn't really met you before. " As he said this he hopped to one side, and quickly put his hand on the shoulder of the little girl. The expression on her face was a picture - almost like a startled rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. "Victoria, I'd like you to meet George - George, I'd like you to meet Victoria. " I had, of course, met Victoria before, but all week I had completely failed to remember her name. Besides, she was only just able to say four words at the time.
Victoria said a shy "Hi. " then tried to hide behind her dad again without any success.
"You really shouldn't be shy around George you know, " said Derek " he was there at the hospital when you were born. The first words you learnt were 'mama' and 'dada', and then you didn't learn any other words for about four months. After that, you started saying 'ncle Geooorge' and we couldn't stop you talking for about four years. " Victoria blushed and grinned through this. To me Derek said "She's very shy around people she doesn't know. " As much to stop Victoria hiding behind him as to make himself comfortable. Victoria quickly made her way towards her mother, but was too slow as her mother was bringing over a tray with four drinks on it (3 alcoholic and 1 not).
Jane stopped my story at this point and asked "Would you say you were attracted to Victoria at this point ? "
"Not at all. " I replied " But I have always found extreme shyness like that cute and amusing in a young child. I've also always hated it when parents invite their friends over and insist that their children are well behaved and quiet. Children should either be allowed to play where they like, or join in the conversation on such occasions. I remember when I was a child, how often I would end up sulking when my parents had their friends round. I would usually end up getting sent to bed early as well. "
"Good. Go on with your' story. " she replied.
It was almost as though there had been no gap since the last time I saw them, as we talked like we were still in school together, while eating fine food, drinking reasonable wine and smoking excellent joints.
I was just considering not outstaying my welcome, when the phone rang. Nancy left the room to answer it, and for a brief moment she could be heard through the open door to the hallway. However, her conversation became muted as she closed the door. Derek and I continued talking, and the subject moved onto our favourite subject 'football' (soccer to my American counterparts) - this was always a loud and enthusiastic debate, as he was an Arsenal fan and I followed Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs), two teams whose supporters hate each other. It turned out however, that Victoria who up until this point had hardly said a word, was also an avid supporter of Spurs.
"I agree with George," she said "Arsenal haven't got a hope this season - they're not going to win the cup or the league."
Being glad that the young cherub had finally come out of her shell around me, I put my arm around her shoulders, looked at Derek and said "I see I have an ally now, " I told him "Are you going to give up now, or are we going to thrash you in this argument like Spurs will thrash your team at football ?" Because of the nature of this story, and my claims that none of this was my fault, I should explain that when I put my arm around Victoria, it was only for a few seconds, and was intended as completely innocent. Let's face it, when your team wins at soccer, and you come out of the ground, large groups of men are regularly seen leaving the ground with their arms around each other singing the team song. I was to find out later that this was not how Victoria took it.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Saturday, July 31, 1999