Lying Season:Experiment in Terror 04

By: Karina Halle



“Tell me about the accident, Perry.”

I barely heard what the doctor said. I was busy staring out the window of his office, watching the leaves of the oak tree outside waver in the spring breeze. It wasn’t quite five o’ clock but the sun was already setting, creating a harsh orange glow behind the buildings of downtown Portland. It caught the edges of the tiny symmetrical leaves, making each one look like they were tinged with flames, that slow burn towards the middle.

But they weren’t on fire, were they? No, they only looked like it.

“Perry, where are you?”

I tore my eyes away from the window and gave Dr. Freedman the nastiest look I could muster. His skinny, narrow face was aglow with the fiery light, but like usual, I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. He had that stupid noncommittal look of a psychiatrist; that patient, patronizing stare that never gave anything away. All of that was scribbled away on his notepad.

“Where the fuck do you think I am?” I sneered at him.

He merely nodded and looked down at his precious notepad. “Just checking, Perry.”

“You’re always saying my name,” I said, and looked back at the window. The sunset’s flames had turned each new, green leaf into a burst of crimson. I could figure out why he was always saying my name; I guess shrinks thought they had to constantly remind their patients who they were. Well, I knew who I was. What I didn’t understand was why I was there. Why I was really there. No pretenses.

“So, tell me about the accident,” he said, careful to leave out my name this time.

The accident. The accident. Always this Goddamn “accident.”

A strand of my neon blue hair fell down in front of my face and I examined it carefully. It looked dry and brittle; the bleach job I did a few months ago had done nothing but damage the core. That was the first thing my mom had said, “Not only do you look like a punk, but you’ve ruined your gorgeous hair forever.” I was glad it hurt her more than it hurt me. It was her fault that I was here. Not some accident.

I looked through my hair; it created a gauzy blue curtain and I liked the fact that I couldn’t see Dr. Freedman clearly through it. It made it easier to deal with him.

“You tell me about the accident, doctor.”

He nodded again to himself. I wished he was the one on fire, not the leaves outside.

“Who is Jacob?” he asked.

I flinched. I didn’t know why.

“Jacob is a friend of mine. Well, he was a friend of mine.”

“Why is he no longer your friend?”

“You know why. He turned creepy. After the party…”

“After the party? Last time you said he got ‘creepy’ before the party.”

“Did I?” I asked absently.

“How did you first meet?” he continued.

The last time I was here, he asked me the same question. I don’t know why I always had to repeat myself and I didn’t understand his fascination with Jacob. It really wasn’t that interesting.

I took in a deep breath, letting him know how annoyed I was with my sharp exhale and told him the story. Again.

“Jacob was…”

Jacob was a skid. Jacob was 18-years old. Jacob failed the 12thgrade probably a million times. Jacob had a really tall black Mohawk that was held together by numerous packages of Knox Gelatine. Jacob always wore a studded denim vest with a black D.O.A patch on the back. Jacob was kind of always D.O.A himself. He was always in trouble with the police, with his parents, with his schoolmates or with his friends. And he thrived on this trouble. He’d wear black lipstick to school and try to kiss the jocks. Jacob was always asking to get beat up. He was a martyr to the skids and I’m pretty sure he thought he was a martyr to humankind. But the truth is, even though there were parts of me that admired him, that respected his nature to piss off authority, to be true to himself, and be fearless (there were even parts that found the black lipstick to be sexy), Jacob was just kind of an idiot.

“Were you in love with him?” Dr. Freedman asked, so casually, as if the topic of love was as important as whether I preferred chocolate ice cream or vanilla.

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