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A new sample (“A process of self-discovery”) is below …
“Jazmine, the doctor,” said the woman benevolently.
Yes, the doctor, thought Jazmine. She could not grasp what doctor they were referring to, but it sounded right. Yes, of course, there was the doctor. She followed the woman into the house and through a rustic maze of hallways. They came out into a wood-paneled study, refreshingly lit by high windows with brown curtains pulled back. The small room was easily filled by the couch, two upholstered chairs, and a desk with a straight-back chair. The room looked familiar to Jazmine. A fortyish woman with tight lips and glasses stood and stepped around from the desk when Jazmine came in.
“How are you feeling today, Jazmine?”
“I think I’m a little better, Dr. Meyer.” Yes, she recognized Dr. Meyer now. It was all coming back to her. “Definitely a little better. I guess it just takes a while for things to fall back into place.”
“Yes, that was quite an event you had, Jazmine.” She sat in one of the upholstered chairs and gestured for Jazmine to sit on the couch.
“You were quite broken down. Do you remember where you were when we found you?”
“Not exactly. I mean, it’s coming back but not completely. We were sleeping in the car in a parking lot. A train station parking lot. I got out to go use the bathroom in the station. But something in the station. Something horrible. It made me think that the car wasn’t a car. It was a box. It was all some big mistake. I needed to get out and get away from that box. I remembered I needed to get to another station to meet someone. I needed to get to Rhinecliff. Everybody said to go to Rhinecliff Station. Somehow I got there.”
“Yes, good,” said Dr. Meyer. “Yes, you were in Rhinecliff. Do you remember talking to me about it?”
“Yes, now I remember. I’ve been here a few days. You and I talk about it every day at the same time.”
“Good. Now we just need to unravel the story backwards until it fits, until you remember the parts you’ve blocked.”
“It’s all coming back. The tan acid. I took the tan acid and it gave me weird flashbacks. I was in Medieval Germany. Rebecca was my name. There was some kind of divine thing in my body. It appeared like a disease, but it was divinity. It was like the divinity was in my body but I couldn’t feel it right. Like I was repressing something.”
“Yes, good, Jazmine. We’ve been through this, but now you’re awake, you see it yourself.”
“Yes, Meister Berold knew. He wanted to help me. And Jeremiah was going to help me. But something bad happened. Something bad happened to Ragman. But that’s where I lose the thread. Ragman was in a whole different time and place. New Orleans, recently.”
“Do you know what we found in your pocket, Jazmine?”
“Something. I can’t quite remember. I had some coins. A coin purse. I don’t know.”
“Do you remember what it was at the train station? The horrible thing?”
“No, no,” said Jazmine, becoming agitated.
“You’re close, Jazmine, we need to look at these things together, consciously, so you can control them instead of having them control you. Think, Jazmine, think. The train station. You put something in your pocket.”
“Yes, I put something in my pocket.” Jazmine was starting to break down again.
Don’t you want to know what it was, Jazmine? Are you ready now? Do you want to wait until tomorrow?”
“Yes, I want to know what it was. I’m ready. I can almost feel it in my hand. In my pocket. I had my hand in my pocket and was squeezing, crumpling. It was paper.”
“Good, Jazmine. I think you’re ready to cross the next bridge.”
Dr. Meyer stood up and stepped around the desk. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion to Jazmine. Her heart pounded. Dr. Meyer opened a drawer and took out a piece of crumpled paper. She started to come back around the desk. The slow-motion trauma was killing Jazmine. Would she never get around the desk?
Dr. Meyer sat back in her upholstered chair with the crumpled paper in her hand, resting on her lap.
“What was it, Jazmine? What was the paper you put into your pocket?”
Jazmine gasped for breath. “Ragman,” she whispered, and a flood of tears came. Dr. Meyer sat next to her on the couch and put her hand on Jazmine’s shoulder. She had not touched Jazmine before – perhaps there was some professional ethics thing about touching your patients – but Jazmine was grateful for the human touch.
With her other hand, Dr. Meyer held out the paper.