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The White Room

THE CHARADE OF appearing to recover when there was, in reality, nothing from which to recover was proving harder than he had first imagined, and the sessions with Dr. Kooning were becoming a strain. Too much real anger was churning inside him, anger that boiled up despite the drugs and despite all his efforts to convince Kooning that he was emerging from what she considered to be fantasy and returning to the real. He constantly ran into the basic stumbling block of his deception. He had no existence and no history in this world, and if he let go of the "fantasy," all that remained was a blank slate. To Kooning, this was even more fascinating than a patient who was in the grip of a delusion. In psychiatry, the deluded were ten a penny; the real blank slate was rare and exotic. Gibson was now fully convinced that there was no way he was ever going to obtain any legitimate release from the clinic and that the only way out for him was going to be a breakout. The conviction was particularly strong on the days when Kooning took it into her head to probe him on the fine print of his paranoia.

"You claim, although apparently either living or wishing to live in the world of rock 'n' roll music, you've never heard of the Rolling Stones?"

Gibson nodded. He felt weighed down by the seeming contradictions that were built into his story. Only a certain dogged stubbornness kept him from curling up on the couch and refusing to answer. "Where I came from, there was no band called the Rolling Stones."

"Doesn't that tell you something."

Only the drugs stopped Gibson snarling. "It tells me that I have come back to a world that's been radically altered, altered to the extent that I no longer exist."

Kooning regarded him gravely. "That's a very interesting statement."

"Isn't it just? "

"Could it be that because of some crisis in your life, perhaps what you perceived as a failure to win the level of success and recognition that you thought you deserved in music, you fixed on one very successful group and decided that they had usurped what was rightfully yours?"

They must have been round this point a dozen times in previous sessions, and Gibson could see what was coming a mile off.

"You're telling me that the only way I could get what was rightfully mine was by blanking out this band, creating the illusion that they didn't exist."

Kooning smiled and nodded. "It does make a lot of sense, doesn't it?"

"It would, except that it isn't the case here."

"So how do you feel when I make such a suggestion?"

Gibson didn't bother to pretend. "I get scared. If I give up what you call my fantasy, what do I have left? There doesn't seem to be anything else. Without it, I'm quite literally nothing."

"Don't you think this is something we are going to have to work on?"


Chapter Nine | Necrom | Chapter Ten