Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Part I)

“I can’t even beat off alone anymore,” thought Bill Lorenz. He tossed and turned in bed, flipping over and noticing a fellow inmate, Sappy, staring gleefully at him. “That’s enough,” Bill finally said.

He threw off the covers, climbed out of bed, and started banging on his cell door. “Guard!” he yelled.

“Bill, what do you want at this hour?” the guard asked as he was rubbing his eyes. “We’re all trying to sleep around here.”

“Sorry to disturb you PRINCESS,” Bill replied, “but I demand to speak with Dr. Effington.”

“You know she doesn’t come in until 8:30.”

“Call her in!”

“I’d be happy to call in Dr. Effington, Mr. Lorenz. What’s the emergency?”

“I’m unhappy about having a cell mate.”

“But that’s hardly an emergency.”

“It is when you haven’t slept in two days! How can I get re-educated when I can’t get a good night’s rest?!”

“Bill, as you know, you were given a cell mate to help you with your anti-social behavior. If you are having trouble sleeping, we can provide you with medication. Otherwise you will have to wait for Dr. Effington to approve removing your cell mate.”

“I’m not taking those damn sleeping pills! When you see Dr. Effington, tell her that I demand to see her right away!”

“Will do, Mr. Lorenz.”

Bill turned around and noticed Sappy still staring at him. “Keep smiling Sappy,” Bill said, “one day I’ll kick those teeth in.”

***

“Sappy’s a goddamn rapist!” Bill said to Dr. Effington, “why did you send him to my cell?”

Dr. Effington sat in her chair while she sipped on tea. There was no desk to separate the two. No guards. It was just the two of them sitting alone in a small, intimate room.

“His name’s not ‘Sappy’,” she replied, “It’s Jeffrey Rohmer. He has a history of not recognizing personal boundaries and we paired him with you because you are recognized as having a more aggressive personality. From you, he might learn consequences from crossing boundaries. From him, you might learn how to deal with difficult people. You both suffer from antisocial behavior. We had hoped that this would be a learning experience.”

“Sappy is a criminal! I’m not!” Bill stated, “I’m a political prisoner!”

“You engaged in activity that resulted in the deaths of several people. That is criminal behavior in every jurisdiction.”

“I had the right to preserve my ideals!”

“Be that as it may, after you were found guilty, you declined the other forms of treatment for reintegration into society. So you were sent here where you will learn how to live in society. This is how the system works.”

“I oppose the system. It’s brainwashing!”

“The aim of the Revolution was to create a more fairer society. That included changes to the justice and incarceration systems. If you play by the rules, you will be fully reintegrated with a clean slate.”

“Fuck you. The Revolution was bullshit. A difference of opinion is not criminal!”

“I’m not here to argue history and politics, Mr. Lorenz. My aim is to rehabilitate you, no matter how long it takes. Because of the Revolution and the new governing regime, I have all the resources to do it.”

“I take that as a threat.”

Dr. Effington finished her tea and lowered the cup to her lap. “Mr. Lorenz, if sharing a cell with Mr. Rohmer is too difficult, we can have him removed,” she said. “Now that that matter is settled, I would like to continue with your therapy.”

“Not today,” Bill replied, “you’ll have to find someone else to brainwash.”

Effington shook her head. “Very well,” she said, “please let the guards know if you need any reading materials. This need not be a painful experience for you, Bill.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Bill replied, “but you can stick that offer up your ass.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

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