Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bunker Boundaries

"The patients are the enemy," he said.
"I learned in the military, you can't fraternize with enemy. And you don't fraternize with the troops either."
"I thought the disease was the enemy." I said.
"That's where you're wrong. It's the patients and the troops. The troops are the enlisted class. Non commissioned officers. The staff. That's the nurses to doctors. The counsellors and the psychologists are the same to the psychiatrists. It's all in the way you see it.' I certainly saw it the way he did. Class paranoia wasn't a new vision.
"You won't get any respect if you familiarize. And keep your thoughts to yourself. Still waters run deep," he said.
And I knew he was trying to help me. Make me more in his image. But still waters run stagnant too. I'd long ago decided killing was easy. Insects did that. Animals did that. But humans were different in their healing of one another.
He was an administrative doctor. In his alcoholism he'd allowed the politics of administration and the ideas of military power coopt for cheap the idealism that had originally led him onto the hard road of medicine. It had carried him through his early career. Then he sold out. Baubles and power. He'd learned in the military to do as he was told. "Patients were the enemy." He could be depended on by the authorities to make the right decision.
No wonder he wanted me dead.

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