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Assignment: Epistolary fiction, which is the use of non-prose forms to tell a story. Journals, IM logs, old-fashioned letters or emails—forms of communication. I chose to go with my old standby of audio transcripts, revisiting Ryan and Doctor Harold Lay briefly. This is also, like the next and last of this quick series, a way to play with a Ryan I have never gotten a chance to write in nearly eight years of writing him; an unquestionably criminal, twisted Ryan whose core is still nine years old.

12 - 19 - 10
DECEMBER 19 2010
3:59 PM

INTERVIEWER: [quietly] This is Doctor Harold Lay with patient Ryan Kamizaki, session number two (2). Today is Monday, December nineteenth (19), two thousand and ten (2010). Patient is male, Asian, currently twenty-two (22) years of age. [pause] Hello again, Ryan.
SUBJECT: Hello, Doctor. Again.
INTERVIEWER: How have you been? How are you feeling today? Any physical complaints?
SUBJECT: I have the same headache. The same headache, because you said you would send a nurse and you sent nobody.
INTERVIEWER: I'm sure I did. I apologize if no one followed through.
SUBJECT: I am miserable.
INTERVIEWER: You seem a little different from our last session, yes. I hope you haven't been tonguing your medication.
SUBJECT: Doing what?
INTERVIEWER: Never mind. Today—
SUBJECT: [interrupting] I don't want to talk about Victor. I don't.
INTERVIEWER: And that's fine. If I have any further questions about your relationship with Victor Nasri, I'll ask them in a future session. Now, if you please...
SUBJECT: Whatever.
INTERVIEWER: Today I want to talk less about specific events in your life, and focus more on experiences, emotions, with special regard to your condition.
SUBJECT: What do you mean, my condition? I—
INTERVIEWER: You know very well what I mean. Unfortunately for you, schizophrenia has dominated nearly all of your life, more so than most other schizophrenics your age. I want you to express how you feel about it; the hallucinations you've experienced, the thought salad, any depression or anger you may have felt or still feel.
SUBJECT: That's a lot, Doctor. How I feel? [long pause, no response from INTERVIEWER] You're serious. [pause] I... I don't know where to even begin. I try... [SUBJECT snaps teeth together three times] I tried to spend most of my time only half-conscious when I wasn't medicated, or only partially medicated, at any point in my life. The schizophrenia is like... Is like a key to a door that normal people don't unlock, and the medication is a way to turn that key back again. I feel too open. Too knowing.
INTERVIEWER: And this upsets you?
SUBJECT: I want to shut that door all the time. I want it locked, because behind it is the knowledge that everyone is horrible, and the only variance is in the lengths they go to cover that horribleness up. And when I think about it, I get so mad, I just—I want to grab a side of myself in each hand and pull until I tear in half. If I can't do that, then I want to tear the world in half, because it's such a pressure on me to know what I am, to know what everyone else is. [pause] The medication turns the key back, makes me hypernormal, but the longer I'm alive the more medication it takes to keep me that way, and that exhausts me too.
INTERVIEWER: I think, Ryan, that you've spent more time thinking about this than either you care to admit, or than you're even aware. That was very verbose of you, and honestly quite eloquent for a young man in your situation.
SUBJECT: Thank you. I think.
INTERVIEWER: Do you find wanting to be 'normal' to be a major concern of yours? [long pause, no reply from SUBJECT] Ryan.
SUBJECT: I want to say no. I want to say I believe in individuality. But the schizophrenia isn't even individuality! It's just... something to ruin my attempts at happiness. What do they call that? A foil?
INTERVIEWER: That's correct.
SUBJECT: So yes, Doctor. I want to be normal, more than anything. Schizophrenia has never given me anything good. It doesn't even give me anything bad; it only takes away. I want to erase it from me.
SUBJECT: And I want to erase it so that being normal doesn't have the added pain of knowing it's artificial. So that I don't have even lurking thoughts of what I fully know to be true when unmedicated, about how everyone is terrible at their core. I want to be bland and ignorant.
INTERVIEWER: I can't say I've never heard similar feelings from schizophrenics, though I admit they are particularly strong in you. [sound of pages rustling] Now, Ryan, if you don't mind another topic...
SUBJECT: Please. [disinterested]
INTERVIEWER: I want to talk about the murders. Not the acts themselves, but how you felt as you made your kills.
SUBJECT: I don't—[sounds of chair scraping floor]
SUBJECT: —No! [sounds of chair clattering]
INTERVIEWER: Ryan, calm down. We don't have to talk about that just yet.
SUBJECT: I wasn't—I wasn't! You don't understand—
INTERVIEWER: We can talk about something else! Please, Ryan!
SUBJECT: —It was like being stung only the feeling lasted for as long—as long as I looked—[miscellaneous sounds; unintelligible]
INTERVIEWER: You're overexciting yourself, Ryan. I am going to have a discussion with Doctor Patel, but for today I'm terminating our session early. It's clear I have overstepped my bounds. [sounds of paper shuffling]
SUBJECT: No, Doctor, please, I'm sorry. I'm sorry! Don't—I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
INTERVIEWER: Please get some rest, Ryan.
SUBJECT: Please, Doctor... Please, I'm sorry...
INTERVIEWER: I'll see you next week. Goodbye.

12 - 19 - 10
DECEMBER 19 2010
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