Randall looked down at the broken shoelace on his left sneaker that he had simply tied back in place after unintentionally stretching it too its limits that morning, causing it to snap in his hands. He unconsciously attempted to flex the persistent pain from the fist he had struck his kitchen counter with after the mishap. Now he would have to slip his foot into a tied shoe.
This irritated Randall.
As he stared, he used his left hand- the healthy one- to nervously fiddle with the three buttons at the top of his dark, long-sleeved shirt that had covered him for nearly three days- before reaching up to pull the bill of his faded and fraying baseball cap further down his forehead towards his eyes. He wished he could cover them, but he knew he couldn’t see Dr. Snyder writing on his tablet of yellow legal paper with his fancy, golden pen if he obstructed his vision completely.
He wished he could cover them, but he knew he couldn’t see Dr. Snyder writing on his tablet of yellow legal paper with his fancy, golden pen if he obstructed his vision completely.
Randall despised watching the doctor scribble notes about him, but he hated it more when he couldn’t witness him make the marks.
He was never allowed to review these notes for himself so that he could confirm their accuracy. His thoughts were that since they were about him, he should have free and unrestricted access. The lack of this invitation deeply enraged Randall, but his complaints were never appeased so he had grown less vocal over the issue as his sessions with Dr. Snyder had accumulated over the weeks. He rarely mentioned the annoyance now, but it had failed to dissipate. He tried to ignore it or tell himself that it was part of the process.
Still, the slight played on his mind. He quickly glanced up from under the bill of his cap with angry eyes to make sure nothing was being written before returning his gaze to the generic blue office carpet and his worn out shoes. If he wasn’t permitted to read the entries for himself, at least he could gather some clue about what they may contain by knowing when they were being made.
“Randall, are you going to answer my question?” pressed Dr. Snyder.
Randall looked up and snapped with a moderately raised voice “I’m trying, damn it! I don’t know how to say what I’m feeling right now…you can’t expect me to just spit out an answer immediately!”
He paused to gather himself.
“What was the specific question again?” he asked while visually framing the word “specific” with extended hands, fingers pointed straight and stiff. “Everything you say to me or ask me always feels so damn vague. Vague is worthless to me. I need details, so stop wasting my time with your vague bullshit!”
Dr. Snyder was growing annoyed at this point in the session and could feel his jaw tighten after being spoken to in such a tone. Randall was his least favorite patient. Actually, Randall was his least favorite person. He dreaded the two sessions a week, lasting anywhere between forty-five minutes and one hour apiece, that he was forced to spend with the man. At one point, Dr. Snyder immensely regretted taking Randall on as a favor for a professional colleague who had already grown too weary to continue enduring any form of contact with him. Snyder initially admonished her mentally for seemingly abandoning a patient, but after dealing with that patient himself for a relatively extended amount of time, he now considered his original judgment to be unfair.
Randall was the worst type of ward: shockingly intelligent at times, but equally stubborn and exceedingly confrontational. Early sessions between the two had devolved into screaming matches on several occasions, ending only after Dr. Snyder was forced to eject Randall from his office and instruct the downtown office building’s security personnel to escort him from the premises. It had often been suggested by these men, and even Snyder’s own secretary, Barbara, that the authorities should be contacted, including the court that had mandated his participation in these sessions. It was advice that most of his peers would have gladly acted on.
Unfortunately, Dr. Snyder was also a stubborn man.
Not without explanation, though, unlike Randall’s bullheadedness. Benjamin Edward Snyder had cultivated and nursed a thriving ego into existence after many decades of practice in psychology; a practice that had been complimented and rewarded often, almost annually, in fact, by his peers. Numerous plaques of achievement dotted the tan walls of his top-floor office and completely surrounded the room and its high-quality leather chair and sofa, each one serving as a symbol of the doctor’s expertise and professional excellence. A stained, hardwood bookshelf stood behind a matching stained desk and chair directly adjacent to the entrance to Snyder’s area of work. Even though it would never be admitted that this was the reason for placing it there, it was purposely located in such a way so that the first objects one would see upon entering the room would be the several trophies that decorated its shelves.
Behind these trophies sat numerous thick books, all of which were relevant to Snyder’s chosen profession. Three of these had been penned by the doctor himself, a feat often brought up in conversation by their writer when discussing topics pertinent to his field of expertise. The trio of literary works sat alone on the top shelf between bookends which were sculpted to depict the doctor’s favorite mythological figure, Atlas bearing the burden of the world upon his back.
Snyder’s most prized possession, however, was left hanging directly above the center of the finely crafted leather sofa, the same sofa occupied at the time by Randall. Here, encased in an ebony frame with gold plated edges and corners, hung the degree of an illustrious private college, one that Snyder had excelled at while performing his studies. The words of “Benjamin E. Snyder, Ph.D.” were always in clear view of the man who had earned it, a view that only he was privileged enough to enjoy while delving into the troubled minds of those who were mentally inferior to him.
However, despite his command of the view, Snyder often welcomed more lowly eyes to land on the proof of his expertise.
In moments of dispute, he had been known to instruct his patients to turn in their seat and crank their necks upwards at an uncomfortable angle so that they may briefly share in the doctor’s view and thus be reminded of the futility that resided in arguing with such an accomplished explorer of the human mind.
It was because of this coveted degree, those polished plaques, the radiant trophies, and his meticulously constructed works of nonfiction that Dr. Snyder refused to abolish Randall’s presence from his weekly itinerary. Snyder could not allow himself to even consciously consider this course of action because to do so would acknowledge an inability to understand and mold even the most resistant of minds. To do as others had and concede to a failure to connect with Randall, as complicated as he had proven himself to be, would be to set limits on Snyder’s abilities as a professional.
Dr. Snyder, or “Snyde” as his wife would often teasingly refer to him, viewed himself as a man without limits; a man who had built an impeccable career and an unsullied reputation based on his ability to succeed in scenarios that his contemporaries shrank away from. In fact, Snyder was already harboring intentions of sharing his inevitable triumph over Randall with the world in his fourth work of literature; yet another achievement destined to serve as a testament to his unprecedented abilities.
Ceasing to work with Randall was out of the question.
The only problem in Benjamin E. Snyder’s opinion was how to find a way to work with him, a fact that had just been made even more evident by Randall’s latest outburst.
Visibly flustered, the doctor leaned forward, adjusted his thin, silver-rimmed glasses, and then sternly replied “Why do you let what others say bother you to such a degree, Randall? That was the question. I feel that was a very specific query.”
Randall breathed out hard from his nostrils as he returned Dr. Snyder’s angry glare with one of his own before breaking eye contact. He looked from side to side in exasperation as he searched for an answer.
Finally his eyes glassed over as if he was now seeing images in his mind rather than his current surroundings and he spoke. “It’s not that simple. It’s not what’s said. The words themselves don’t hurt. It’s the fact that the words were even spoken in the first place…”
Randall hesitated before continuing. “It’s the disrespect that I can’t stomach. It’s the goddamn disrespect.”
“I’m not sure I understand, Randall,” replied Dr. Snyder. He cocked his head slightly to his left as he asked “You don’t view the words themselves as disrespectful?” He let out an inappropriate, albeit unintentional, chuckle as he went on. “If that’s the case, then again, why are you bothered at times by what is said to you?”
Randall took another shaky breath as he tried to conceal his frustration while he pinched at the bridge of his nose and the corners of his eyes with his thumb and pointer finger. He shook his head before planting both hands on his knees and leaning sharply towards Dr. Snyder.
“Yes, they’re disrespectful, as well. Of course, they are, but I’m not affected by what is specifically said to me. I’m affected by the attempt itself. I’m affected by the…disrespect of it.”
By then, Randall was beginning to feel the anger growing in his guts, but he went on.
“I’m well aware of the issues others have with my anger, and so is everyone else that I have had the sincere misfortune of being acquainted with.” His voice began growing louder as he attempted to offer up an explanation. “All of them, all of them, know I have a temper. Every. Single. One. And yet, everyone I know or come in contact with finds it necessary to set that temper off. Do you know why, Dr. Snyder?”
Snyder made a shrugging gesture with his left hand and shoulder and stated “No, Randall, I don’t know why someone would purposely upset you. Quite honestly, I’m having a hard time even understanding what they would be looking to achieve by doing so.”
Randall’s eyes bugged at the doctor’s ignorance as he replied “Because they think it’s funny, that’s why.”
The rage broke through.
“They think it’s fucking funny…”
Randall had succumbed.
“…to antagonize me!”
Snyder put his palm up and began to interject, but as he opened his mouth to speak Randall cut him off and began screaming even faster and louder.
“They think it’s funny to bother me, they think it’s funny to tease me, they think it’s funny that they can control me with my own anger!”
He was becoming more agitated with every syllable.
“They find fucking amusement in it! They fucking enjoy it! They know I only want to be left alone and to be allowed to live my life without this harassment, but they’re all such assholes that they can’t just leave me be! They know I hate how I am! They know I hate how they make me feel! They know, and they do it anyway!”
His neck strained and his fists clenched so tightly that his blood vessels shown through his skin. He leaned forward to the extent that he was no longer sitting, his torso nearly parallel to the floor as he bent his knees and roared. The extent of the rage, as it always did, appeared almost instantly and without warning to Dr. Snyder.
“That’s the disrespect, doctor, that’s the fucking disrespect! It’s not their words; fuck those puny minded morons’ words! It’s their motherfucking intent and desire to manipulate my emotions for fun! It’s the fact that they use me for their enjoyment! They use me as their toy! They don’t respect me as human being! It’s the disrespect, doctor! It’s the motherfucking disrespect…”
Dr. Snyder could tolerate no more.
“That’s enough, Randall,” yelled the doctor as he simultaneously slapped the arm of his chair hard with his right hand, causing a loud crack to bounce off of the walls of the room.
The patient terminated his tirade at the doctor’s signal, a skill he had acquired long before meeting his current overseer, but the flames within were only returned to containment, not extinguished.
“Outbursts of those fashions will not be tolerated in my office,” said Snyder after regaining his composure. “This has already been made clear to you in the past. You’re here to learn to control your anger, not to release it. Do you understand?”
Randall didn’t acknowledge the demand with words, but he did begrudgingly return to his seat and offer up a slight nod of the head before looking away.
Deeming this reaction to be acceptable, Dr. Snyder declined to assert himself any further, instead choosing to let the matter drop. He turned his attention to his notepad to jot down his thoughts on the latest incident. Randall took notice of this decision.
“What are you writing about me?” inquired Randall in a dark voice.
“You know that I can’t tell you that” replied Snyder without looking up or stopping.
Randall’s upper lip began to coil and he felt his face grow hot. “You know I hate it when people like you write things about me” said Randall in the same menacing voice as before. “Dr. Ramsey did it, even though I asked her not to, and now you do it even though I ask you not to. Either allow me to read what you’re writing about me, or put the fucking pen down, doctor.”
Snyder’s head snapped up, his face betraying the fact that he too was on the verge of losing his temper.
“You have quite the nerve to be making demands of me after the behavior I just witnessed from you, Randall,” he retorted fiercely. “It would be well within my rights to have you permanently removed from my office and this building based on your past misdeeds alone, even without taking this latest exploit of yours into consideration.”
The doctor paused just long enough to gauge whether his words were having the desired effect. Upon realizing they likely were not, he continued, more calmly now, but every bit as threateningly.
“If I were to decide to refuse to allow you to continue to be my patient, are you aware of the consequences that decision would have on your life?” said Snyder, the smug confidence of authority thick in his voice.
“Do I need to remind you that you are not here in my office because of your own choosing?” Snyder crossed his arms as he sat back in his chair and peered over his glasses as he levied the said reminder in the form of a question.
“I hold legally binding power over your future, Randall, so please explain to me why it is that you’re here today with me. We’ll come back to all of the people who are allegedly harassing you another time.”
Randall’s body tightened at the demand. He sat silently, neglecting to deliver an answer.
Snyder melodramatically exhaled as he feigned rising from his leather seat.
Even though he immediately identified the bluff, Randall’s desire to end the session nevertheless left him obligated to speak.
“You know why I’m here. You know why I was seeing Dr. Ramsey before you. You know everything already. I don’t need to explain it,” he relented coldly.
A half-smile briefly appeared on Snyder’s face as he leaned back, believing Randall’s submission was his doing. “Yes, you’re right, I do know,” said Snyder, “but I need to hear it from you. You’ve been coming here for over a month now and we’ve yet to touch on the true reasons that you’re blessing me with your incredibly delightful presence.”
Randall’s eyes narrowed at the sarcasm. Snyder noticed but was undeterred.
“I need to know what level of responsibility you’re capable of taking for your own actions.” said Snyder as he picked up his pen in anticipation of an answer. “I need to know why, in your own words, you’ve done the things that you’ve done. It’s part of the process.”
Randall would not relent again. Not so soon. He sat silently, this time stareing with defiance at Snyder.
After another moment of waiting for an answer that wasn’t coming, Dr. Snyder pushed his glasses up from his eyes, this time in genuine exasperation, replaced them after a quick massage of his closed eyes, contemplated his words, and let loose another, thicker, volley.
“Randall, how many years did you spend in the Lakewood facilities?”
Randall’s chin involuntarily tucked, as if preparing to endure a blow, at the mention of his former residence, but not long enough to register with Snyder.
“If my memory serves me correctly, your file says your time there exceeded 60 months.” Snyder’s eyes narrowed as he attempted to detect the memories behind Randall’s glare.
“Do you not realize that you are giving me reason to believe that recommending you be placed in the custody of Lakewood may be in your own best interest?
Snyder knew these were empty threats, but he was committed to the attempt.
“Why are you acting as if you’re eager to return?”
Randall now abandoned his hesitation and stated “The only thing I’m acting eager to do is leave this place.”
“The session hasn’t ended yet” said Snyder as he pointed at a small white timer sitting on his desk. “You’re going to be here for as long as the timer says you’re going to be here and you’ll return twice a week until I say it’s no longer required of you. Or…heaven forbid…when I come to the conclusion that it’s beyond my ability to help you.”
This remark drew a moment of frustrated laughter from Randall as he rolled his eyes and swiveled his head. “I’m not referring to your office, doctor…I’m referring to this place…this whole shitty world. I’m eager to leave it, and neither you nor your little clock will have any say over when I decide to do so.”
Sensing a chance to cover new ground, Snyder seized on what he saw as an opportunity to break further into his subject’s psyche. “How do you plan on achieving this exit? Are you experiencing suicidal thoughts, Randall?”
As he spoke, he leafed through a few pages of a dossier that was lying on his lap before admitting “There’s nothing in your file that indicates you have a history of such desires.”
“That’s because I’m not suicidal” Randall adamantly declared before reining himself in and elaborating. “…I don’t want to die…I’m not that crazy. I’m not crazy at all, despite all of the people like you who’ve taken it upon themselves to insist the opposite. I’m the sanest person you’ll ever meet, doctor. It’s the rest of the world that’s fucking insane.”
He contemplated the issue a moment longer and added “I’m not afraid of death, though. It’s their insanity that gives me the strength to die, as long as I can go out on my own terms and in my own way…” He briefly trailed off and looked away, but then returned his gaze and continued.
“Maybe choosing my own way out would be better than allowing a crazy world to tell me how I have to live.”
Snyder couldn’t help but once again let a patronizing smirk slide into his expression as he replied. “I’m afraid that is a delusional outlook on the world, Randall. Sane individuals don’t spend large portions of time in institutions designed to care for the mentally ill. That’s not…”
“You’re wrong about that, Dr. Snyder!” roared a resurgent Randall, who had become instantly enraged upon hearing Snyder’s assertion.
“They absolutely do. I wasn’t unwillingly imprisoned in Lakewood for year after horrifying year because I’m ill, doctor! I was trapped in that hell because I suffer from an abundance of sanity!”
Randall pointed towards a large window on the left side of the office that overlooked the congested city streets beneath it.
“It’s out there that you can find true insanity, not inside of me!” He abruptly stood from his seat on the couch, hastily moved to the window, and peered out below.
“Randall, please return to your seat,” Snyder sternly, but calmly, demanded. “You’re losing control again and I can’t have that today.”
Ignoring the request, Randall levied more accusations at the world.
“There’s a disease all around us right now and it doesn’t want to be cured. It wants to earn its living by feeding off of us. I can see it and feel it. I can even smell it in the air I breathe. It’s exploiting all of us like a gigantic, unstoppable parasite! The world can’t stand to see or face its sickness, though, so it lies to itself and pretends all is well while everything around and within turns to shit and withers away!”
“Randall, you have to calm yourself…” insisted Dr. Snyder. He was standing now with his hands outstretched, motioning to Randall with his palms down as he tried to deescalate the situation, but he was finding no success.
Randall’s entire upper body was now almost completely pressed against the glass. He looked frantically at the steel and concrete civilization surrounding him as his eyes filled with pure horror.
“The only ones who are capable of seeing the truth are punished in this place because we refuse to accept that lie and aren’t afraid to spit it back out when it’s fed to us! This world can’t accept that refusal to participate, though. It’s fueled by fear and deceit and every single one of us is expected to swallow our fair share of both. Nothing can operate here, nothing can function here, nothing can exist in this fucked up mess unless all of us stay blind to the truth and just keep feeding little pieces of our souls into the machine every single day of our lives.”
Fearing that the increasing pressure of Randall’s weight would eventually overcome the window pane’s ability to resist shattering, Dr. Snyder grasped his patient’s shoulders from behind and forced him to the middle of the room. In doing so, he accidentally sent Randall crashing to the floor.
Snyder immediately placed himself between Randall and the window sill and yanked its curtains closed. He then turned to offer some assistance, but saw Randall dragging himself across the blue carpet towards the sofa.
Upon reaching it, he declined to stand and sit, but rather stayed on the floor and leaned his back against the piece of furniture before unleashing another verbal assault, this time directed towards the doctor.
“That’s why the world made men like you and built places like Lakewood! The world needed a rigged judge and jury so it filled you with its twisted version of reality, told you it was a proper education, and appointed you to the post it needed to be filled! Lakewood and places like it are just concentration camps that people like you sentence people like me to suffer in because we’re too dangerous to the machine! We’re too dangerous to the disease!”
Snyder pleaded with Randall to calm down. “You’ve lost control, you need to…”
“You send us there so that all of the slaves can’t hear us tell the truth! You send us there so that you can hide what we know from all the people you’ve fooled! You lock us in those cells and fill us with your pharmaceutical poisons and try to convince us that it’s for our own good, but what you really want is for the outside world to forget we even exist! That way they’ll never be capable of remembering just how sick they’ve all become!”
A loud banging on the office’s closed door shocked Randall and snapped him out of his hysteria.
“Dr. Snyder, are you alright? Should I call security?” Randall’s ranting and spill to the floor had alarmed the secretary who had been sitting only feet away from the locked door.
Snyder rushed to unbolt the door so that he could console his frightened employee.
“No Barbara, it’s fine. Everything is fine, I promise. I’ll handle this,” he said while placing his hand on her shoulder and gently guiding her back in the direction of her desk. “Randall just had a momentary lapse in control. He seems to have calmed now. Do not call security this time.”
After a few more reassuring words, Snyder closed the door behind him and then turned slowly, hands on his hips, towards his stewing patient who was now slumped back onto the sofa as he attempted to catch his breath and calm his shaking body. Randall sat so far back that only the tips of his shoes were able to touch the carpet, unintentionally exposing the extent of his rather diminutive height and frame. His eyes were sealed tightly and he ground his teeth as he ran his hands up and down his scruff covered cheeks.
Dr. Snyder took in as much of the scene as possible. He had noticed before that Randall normally appeared to be in need of rest, even exhausted at times, and he assumed that played a large role in the man’s exceptionally poor temperament. His eyes were always sunken with dark rings present and his face looked thinner than what Snyder believed was healthy. These traits of his appearance combined with a clear inability to control his rage obviously made it easy to perceive Randall as an unstable individual on the verge of mental collapse.
He had never appeared to be quite as broken as he seemed to be in that particular moment, though.
It was in that instance that it dawned on Snyder that once the job was complete, Randall would be more than just a noteworthy accomplishment; he would become his greatest success story.
Here sat a weeping, shell of a man who had been relegated to an institution, then released only to be forced back into the system due to his persistent inner demons. Highly skilled professionals had plied their craft in an attempt to correct his behavior only to admit defeat.
Now, however, Benjamin E. Snyder would succeed where others could not and then he would rightfully reap the rewards that only he deserved.
Eventually Randall managed to open his eyes to find Snyder still standing as he was, glaring intently through the lenses of his glasses at his complex project. Neither broke the gaze until Snyder finally pushed his still thick grey hair back to its normal and preferred place after it had fallen over his face when he sprang from his chair. He bent to pick up the dossier along with its spilled papers and retook his seat.
Snyder opened his mouth slightly to speak, but then decided against it. Enough had already been realized for one day. He recovered his notepad from the floor, unclipped his pen from its cardboard back, and began to put ink to paper. He was content to spend the remainder of the session in silence.
Randall once again took notice.
He watched Snyder’s pen glide from one side of the page to the next, over and over again…recording intimate information with every mark made. Information that Randall felt should only belong to him. Weeks and weeks of enduring this belittlement was beginning to take its toll on Randall’s already fragile patience.
It wasn’t the words on the page that bothered him…it was the goddamn disrespect…
The timer on Snyder’s desk sounded, signaling the end of the session.
The doctor rose from his chair, notepad still in hand, and switched off the timer. He turned to Randall and said “Well, it’s been an eventful day. It may not seem like it on the surface, but I believe I’ve experienced some interesting revelations in the last hour.”
He smiled as he proclaimed “We’re on the right path here, Randall. I’ll see you next week. Feel free to let yourself out.” Dr. Snyder then took a seat behind his desk and returned to scribbling down lines about the day’s progress.
Randall silently raised himself from the sofa and walked towards the door. He turned the bolt and prepared to leave, a feeling of defeat hovering over him. Instead of exiting, however, he stopped and turned. The instrument of his disrespect was still being put to use by Snyder’s hand.
He closed the door and reset the lock.
Snyder raised his head in confusion and wondered why Randall was standing directly in front of his desk instead of exiting the building. “Is there something else you need before you go?” he said warily. His golden pen sat loosely in his grip.
Snyder now realized that the man he was looking at now was not the broken man he had fantasized of exploiting only moments before. He didn’t see rage in Randall’s eyes anymore.
Now he saw something primitive, and it was too late. .
Without warning, Randall leapt forward with unexpected speed and grabbed the doctor by the hair with his left hand, pulling his target forward and forcing his face onto the desktop. The movement had come so swiftly that Snyder could only react instinctually. He placed both hands flat on the desk and pushed up with all of his strength in an attempt to escape the situation, but in doing so, neglected to realize that he had relinquished control of his pen.
Snyder suddenly released a horrendous scream from deep inside of his guts and lungs. Now in extreme agony, he looked towards the source of his pain and saw that his left hand had been nailed to the desk. His golden pen had been forced completely through the flesh and was embedded into the hardwood beneath.
The doctor’s blood began to bubble out through the small spaces between the wound and the weapon. He roared in anguish as he attempted to remove the instrument from his body, but he could not bear the pain. He slumped to his knees, utterly trapped.
A violent pounding on the door pulled his vision away from his bloody hand for the first time since the wound had been inflicted. Barbara was frantically screaming from the other side of the entrance, alarmed by the unmistakable sounds of physical misery.
“Dr. Snyder, are you alright? What is happening! Benjamin, what’s going on?” cried Barbara. “I’ve called security! Please, please, unlock the door!”
It was then that Dr. Snyder noticed Randall calmly sitting in his normal spot on the sofa with a notepad of yellow legal paper in his hands. After a few moments of watching intently, he gasped in horror as Randall arose from the sofa and once more approached the desk.
“No, please, don’t do anymore!” begged Snyder as Randall grew near. The pain was overwhelming, but the fear of more being inflicted immediately flashed through Snyder’s mind and left him crippled with terror.
Instead of continuing the assault, however, Randall simply slid the notepad under Snyder’s eyes and pointed at a series of lines. Blood had smeared a portion of the entry, but it remained legible, even to a man in Snyder’s desperate condition.
The passage read:
Today I realized the true extent of this man’s madness, but most importantly, I am now aware of all of the potential gains that will be made available to me upon successfully curing him of his delusions. Convincing this man of his insanity will be the master achievement of my career. It cannot be denied that his afflictions have become my blessings.
The sound of glass shattering jarred Snyder to his core.
Randall had put his fist through the doctor’s prized diploma, and now stood with a large shard in his hand. He turned Snyder’s high quality leather chair to face the desk and sat directly in front of the doctor’s line of sight.
Pulling both sleeves up to reveal his wrists, Randall proceeded to use the glass to precisely slice straight down both wrists. He made both cuts without so much as a whimper escaping from his lips. After making the incisions, he placed both arms to his sides with palms facing the ceiling, making sure that Snyder could see the blood pouring from either wound.
Just before the famous Benjamin E. Snyder, PhD finally began to drift into darkness and pass out from the pain and fear, Randall leaned forward and whispered into his right ear…
“The words themselves don’t hurt, Doctor…it’s the disrespect…It’s the goddamn disrespect…”