“What can you tell me about Edward Thompson?”
I woke up in my padded room. I had blacked out again. I have no idea what happened. I hoped Dr. Kinless was OK. All I remember is being strapped to the chair and the guards and the nurses and…
I love the drugs. I don’t particularly like the memory lapses, but I do like that the drugs keep me from doing anything I wouldn’t be proud of. I guess it really doesn’t matter. I never remember what happened during the in-between time. I think it’s better that way. There’s always some force inside that, when it is all over, tells me it is going to be alright. Kind of like a father figure.
I can’t say that I had much of that. My real father died. My mother remarried when I was 9, and he wasn’t a very good father. I think it was during that time that these memory lapses began. It started off small. I imagined my ideal father and eventually I began to talk to him. Maybe I was trying to talk to God. I don’t know. My step dad was always gone and if he was around, he was incredibly stressed.
I was yelled at and punished. I can’t say that I didn’t deserve it sometimes. There was that one time I ran over the sprinkler head with my bike and snapped it off. He smacked me around. I think this was when I was ten. He said he was sorry, but it was OK because I had my ideal father. I drew him in my notebook. He had a white moustache and white hair. I pictured him like a grandfather because I didn’t have a good relationship with my grandfather either. Rather I didn’t have any relationship at all.
My ideal father’s name was Edward Thompson. I named him Edward because there was a student teacher in my class in 4th grade that we called Edward. He insisted that he hated the term Mr. And Thompson is the name of my favorite teacher in elementary school. He was my first grade teacher and he was literally the coolest teacher I knew. He let us do projects instead of homework. Many kids hated that, but I enjoyed it.
Those two were indirectly and directly the templates for my ideal father. Edward Thompson is a smart, kind, gentle, man with superpowers. He was also partially superman. He had all his powers and could keep me safe and calm. I wish he was real…
“What can you tell me about Edward Thompson?” Dr. Kinless asked me one afternoon. I was shocked he even knew who he was.
“How do you know that name? Did I show you a picture?”
“No, you didn’t,” said Dr. Kinless, “May I see a picture?”
I had one in my notebook. It was the only possession I had, the notebook I mean. I opened up to a page that was heavily smudged. It was in pencil lead and over time and viewings, it had smudged against the other page and looked more like a dark spot than anything, but the outline was still there. The way I had always pictured him sitting in an armchair with a book.
“I see,” said Dr. Kinless, “Does Edward like to read?”
“Uh,” I said, “Yes, he does. He especially likes that chair. If he could he would sit in it all the time. Dr. Kinless, have you met Edward?”
“There was a session,” said Dr. Kinless, “Where he and I had a riveting game of chess. It was very close. We spoke, mostly about you, but subjects varied. He’s quite the gentlemen. Do you know how to play chess?”
“I’ve played before,” I said, “But I never was any good.”
“I would disagree,” he said, “You’re quite good. Well, you are when he is around.”
“One of my personalities is Edward Thompson?”
“Yes. I would say much better than Terrance Stone, but still just like Terrence Stone, Edward needs to leave.”
Is that absolutely necessary, Dr. Kinless?
Dr. Kinless smiled. “Hello Edward. I’m glad you are here. We need to talk about Jamie’s well being. You must agree that Jamie needs to be his own man, correct?”
I would agree, Dr. Kinless, however Jamie’s well being is my number one priority. I need to remain with him until someone more fitting comes along. That other father that was with him before was substandard. Not good for a boy like Jamie.
“I’m not sure I agree,” said Dr. Kinless, “Jamie needs someone who is actually there, not someone who is inside him.”
I honestly don’t like your tone, Dr. Kinless. Jamie and I are just fine. Until someone who is a better father figure shows up I will leave.
“There isn’t anyone as good as you,” said Dr. Kinless, “You are an idea. An ideal father figure. You’re great, patient, kind, a well learned individual, but you are not real. You are a part of Jamie, not apart from Jamie.”
I don’t think that is important. I believe that a father is a male figure that is around for their son. I am around, whether I am a part or apart is neither here nor there. Jamie will have me until I am unneeded. I don’t want to hear another word about it.
“I’m sorry, Dr. Kinless,” I said, “Did I black out?”
“It’s alright, Jamie,” said Dr. Kinless, “We’ll end our session here for today. I will see you tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day.”