Cutter pulled his sleeve back down after he put his arm back on. Tonight was what they called in the corps a FUBAR.
USMC Hospital, Psychological Evaluations
I want you to tell me what happened?, her voice was artfully measured, each word carefully nuanced and sculpted. Kind of like her legs, wrapped in white stockings. Not pantyhose but honest to god stockings. There had been a glimpse of the garter strap.
"Not really," Cutter had said.
You know that isn't going to be an acceptable answer, she said in a voice that would melt ice cream.
"I know," he had said.
Shall we instead go to the irregularities in your paper work?
"Everything looked right to me,"
Well, how about we begin with your name, John Foster. I see you are still writing your name as Cutter.
"It fits better," he had said. John Foster was a lucky kid who thought joining the marines would be fun. Like playing Medal of Honor, seriously the military had better stuff than any of those video games. You didn't start out with a pistol, or 20 year out of date rifle. John Foster had played football, a moderately good wide receiver, and had a beautiful fiance. John Foster lost his arm, d**n near his life, almost his entire platoon, then his fiance and even alienated his family. s**t liked to happen to John Foster. But Lt. Cutter was a cool guy who liked beer, working on engines, and shooting guns. Lt. Cutter was someone people didn't want to mess with. He had a bad ass exterior and a morbid sense of humor.
John Foster had nightmares, and sometimes had moments where he had to breathe really hard and try to force his mind back to Alabama. AL-A-BAM-A, not Al Abama. It wasn't the desert, it wasn't the war. It wasn't the death and the horror and all the things that his mind kept wrapped up and hidden except when he was asleep, or when he was placed under duress.
Why do you think that name is a better fit? she asked. Instead of letting the flow of words out, he shrugged, he always shrugged.
Well, next irregularity on your paperwork is Race, it seems you have listed yourself as 'Cyborg' I am not familiar with that ethnic grouping.
"Cybernetic Organism," he had said, explaining the concept of the man machine hybrid. There was a computer chip in the arm, a thing for ID purposes, so technically he was a cyborg. *better a cyborg than a cripple*
The exam had continued, going over the basics, her words picking at his defences. She was the third psychologist he had been shuffled around to. She was the only one he would talk to. The first had been a joke, take these pills and everything will be fine. Two days later he still hadn't slept and was intimately familiar with what gun oil tasted like.
Rebecca had left him then, unable to deal with his issues, with his missing arm.
The second doctor had been little better. He was a balding older man with ghosts in his eyes. It was only a few weeks after seeing Cutter for the first time that Dr. Schwartz himself was being medicated and under psyche therapy.
Two come aparts and an incident with a gun and his family wouldn't have anything to do with him any more. Its an ugly day when your mother asks you to move out because she is scared of you. Still, according to the shrinks and staff on base, he was doing very well. He hadn't assaulted anyone, he hadn't attempted to kill anyone, and he could function in a broken fashion around people. There were guys coming back who killed their wives then sat on their front porch for a week before blowing their own brains out.
Amazing, the only thing people saw on TV was those images of smart bombs hitting targets in silent black and white, and the phosphorescent glow of night time firefights through night vision. When they did see the veterans, they were shown the dubious Gulf War Syndrome activists, not the guys who had snapped. That was Vietnam, not Iraq.
You seem to have stress atavisms, being in stressful or perceived dangerous situations does seem to have a strong ability to induce hallucinatory episodes, she had said. Her perfume was incredible, he never asked her what it was. Perhaps that was part of the mystery that drove him mad with curiosity.
There are a variety of methods we can deal with this, you have had an adverse reaction to medication.
"Chronic insomnia, suicidal thoughts, boy bands," always with the joke.
I would like you to start practicing meditation, controlled breathing and take up a very low key hobby
"How low key?"
How about starting with something you find unstimulating. Gardening, or bird watching, she had suggested. He had squirmed on the couch, acting uncomfortable, he had really just been trying to look up her dress. Avoidance is also a tactic deployed by someone who didnt want to deal with a situation.