Revenge of Dr. Laura Shane
By Anima James
She is a San Diego psychiatrist who has become a time traveler, of sorts. Dr. Laura Shane first began “time tripping,” as she likes to call it, when she had all those women who came to her during the worst periods of the Novel Corona Virus horrors, and well into the D, Omicron, and other SARS-CoV-2 mutations that were, seemingly, endless. As these strains were straining the economy, they were also straining families, and Laura felt the brunt of the cruelty, stress, psychological, and physical abuses in her practice and in her personal life.
The following stories will show how Dr. Shane was able to get revenge for her patients, when their attempts at controlling their husbands and mates became fruitless. Many times, Dr. Shane knew how the political system worked against her patients, especially the women. If they were able to get a police officer restraining order, then it was never enforced enough to be effective, as the police force itself was feeling the brunt of cutbacks and governmental red tape. Sometimes, it was just where her patient lived. The poor lived in neighborhoods that had little or no protection, either private or public. The wealthy lived in the gated communities that often became castles within which the Marquis de Sade himself would have gladly romped freely.
In her fifth year of practice, two of Dr. Shane’s patients die at the hands of these violent controllers, narcissistic manipulators, addicts, and alcoholics. Dr. Shane, who never married, even though she had the looks that could land a prize doctor, lawyer, or C.E.O. in a heartbeat, works only for her patients, and they are, for the most part, very grateful. Her patients’ depressions, compulsions, obsessions, and incalculable “feasts of fury,” are all, in Dr. Shane’s studied opinion, brought on by the issues that will be explored in this collection of stories.
What is most fascinating, perhaps, is the fact that Dr. Shane is a Jungian psychoanalyst in this modern age of Skinnerian and Rogerian behaviorists. Most neurologists, she believes, are pill-pushers, and Laura knows some who make money directly from Big Pharma, like the Shackler Family, and its Perdue race to become top dog in the “oblivion and overdose department,” with their horrendously illegal marketing techniques. But she never goes down that road. No, Dr. Shane uses dreams, and she practices what she preaches, as her own dreams are lucid, and they give her what she now believes are actual interviews with the profound and sexually professional women from the past.
In fact, as we move into the first story, Dr. Shane is going to be dreaming and visiting none other than ancient Egypt’s Cleopatra, one of the most romantic leaders in history. Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, the last symbol of the ruling Pharoahs, was romanticized by artists and historians all over the world. But Laura will be asking some very specific questions of the Queen of the Nile, as her patient, Dorothy Wellington, age 47, needs Laura’s professional advice to prevent a possible murder in her household.
What is most surprising is the fact that Dr. Shane will go to any lengths to seduce and to put her target under control. She has even begun to believe that the land of dreaming, even inside the nightmares of her patients and herself, as well as the land of the so-called “living,” are all interchangeable ideations and can instantly become alive apart and together. Therefore, Laura can go directly from talking with Cleopatra to visiting the wealthy estate of Gerard Wellington III, one of her wealthiest targets.
As a psychiatrist, she can enjoy her sexual control over these ultimately weak men, or women, who actually hate themselves, as in the case of narcissistic provocateurs, but if the controller, male or female, turns out to be a psychotic sociopath, it is Dr. Shane who can become the hunted, so she is ever vigilant to recognize the signs and the signals—from what she learns from her historical advisors, and from what her patients, and their daily interactions with their mate or significant other, tell her.
Her only regular sex partner, for whom she has the greatest respect, is a man who was paralyzed in Afghanistan from the waist down, and blook cannot flow into his penis at all. She knows that Rick Forness, who is a Zen Buddhist, has overcome the most difficult childhood and military discomforts ever, as he was one of the Navy Seals who reported his commanding officer for inhuman treatment of prisoners, and when the officer took revenge on him, the whiskey pete (white phosphorus) grenade under his bunk at night did not deter his spiritual outlook one iota, and he was the greatest lover she had ever known or loved, as a result of his Forness fortitude and his active lifestyle. Rick, the tow-headed, muscular thirty-three-year-old, with the long, handlebar mustaches and the hot-rod wheelchair, made love with his mouth in ways any woman would be proud to visit each day of the week. Rick was her reward at the end of one of her revenges, and she looked forward to their meetings more than anything she had ever looked forward to in her life.
The Case of Gerard Wellington, III.
I already know the facts behind Mrs. Wellington’s abuse. As in many of these cases, it began innocently enough. Her husband, who owns a major car dealership in La Jolla and several used car lots in the lower-class areas of San Diego County, began to suggest that they enliven their marriage by becoming swingers. They own a big, multi-million-dollar estate in Rancho Santa Fe, and her drive over there makes her condo in La Jolla seem like Mrs. Wellington must feel when she journeys out of her gated community of homes worth millions and stands behind my Aviana green, velvet-rolled arm sofa, her knuckles turning white with stress as she grips the back of it.
She explains to me, as she looks out my office building window at all the college traffic crawling up North Torrey Pines Road toward UCSD, like Sisyphean youngsters on wheels. The threats from the voices she hears, including her husband’s, are beginning to make her nauseated and frightened for her life. I watch her lay down inside my sofa once more, as if she were floating on Cleo’s barge down the River Nile. Her hands are raised in a poise of grace, as the sunlight streams through the window onto her winnowing, ever restless, but voluptuous body. She’s explaining to me how my sofa compares to the 1887 antique child’s cedar schoolroom chair she was inside just the evening before.
“It’s engrained with passing knowledge or ignorance, complete with an inkwell, folding top, and several names etched into the top. One name is Pricilla, and the other is George, and the script of their names is joined with elaborate curlicues, on either side of an imaginary Valentine heart, with a bloody arrow stabbing through its center,” and, as my patient says, “into my own heart as well.”
The first time she tells me about how her husband makes her sit in it, she says he places the chair behind their blue antique French dressing screen as her punishment for farting during the wife-swapping adventure they’d had with the Powell’s from across the valley. To counter this, I tell her to get an old copy of Thy Neighbor’s Wife, by Gay Talese. I see one on Amazon, and I explain to her the gist of what his thesis entails concerning his investigation into open marriage, and the swinger and wife-swapping lifestyles.
“What he discovered, with first-hand research into these practices, is that it was the men who first insisted in these meetings. Women, for the most part, were passive participants, until there was a prolonged encounter with couples, and then the women began to bond and become friends. Sometimes, he found, they would even have secret rendezvous together, without their men knowing. And not always for sex, either. Just for friendship. What does that suggest to you, Dotty?”
She always insists I call her “Dotty,” and not the more formal “Dorothy,” as she says it makes her feel like a child again. It is her self-diagnosis that all her problems began with her father, Cleland, who was a real estate developer. He used to come home, exhausted, and he had her sit down on his lap and then he proceeded to get an erection with her there, and she at age nine. She was never molested by him during these acts, in that he never went beyond the bouncing, infuriating nursery rhyme he kept saying, in a singsong voice, as he laughed obnoxiously. Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross, to see a fine lady upon a white horse; rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, and she shall have music wherever she goes!
“It’s you who became obsessed with your father’s notions,” I tell her. “When our fantasies become fixated before puberty, we make them into far more elaborate and personal fables than they were ever meant to become. The poet, Sylvia Plath, for example, according to her analyst, was fixated on her father’s power over her psyche, as his manner was very Germanic and proud, even though he was simply a professor of science, who specialized in bees, a mellitologist.” I further explained to her that FBI files in 2012 showed him to be very indignant about his getting passed over at the University of California because of his “pro-German” sympathies about World Wars One and Two. He held a powerfully strong hold over Sylvia’s subconscious, which resulted in her equally powerful poem of magical thinking, “Daddy.” I explain that she was never reported to have been sexually molested by him, but one never knows that kind of thing, as doctors were far more reticent than they are today to discuss those things.
“You were molested, Dotty, make no mistake, but it was your own fantasies about sexuality being a key to intimacy that made you become an easy victim for Gerard. It is he who has taken advantage of you, and not that you are blossoming into the open sexual being you were always meant to become. Don’t you see that?”
She always nods at me, tears streaming, but her body tells me a different story, and her actions with him over the year she’s been under my care prove to me she is ignoring everything I tell her about her husband being a narcissistic controller who only wants to act out his own fantasies and to merely show-off his prowess in the sex act to her and to any other woman who gets involved in their swapping activities. When she comes to me today, I know it’s something important. She twists inside her sofa womb, casting her blue eyes all around the room, as if she expects some phantom to reach out and grab her to carry her off to some cave at La Jolla Cove.
I realize I must come up with an idea that allows me to use what I do best. I need to not only become the tantalizing provocateur, to bring this studly narcissist out of his man-cave of domination, but I also must stop what I believe might well develop into a dangerous situation for my patient. He may not be ready to violently attack her, but from what she’s told me, he’s ready to stop her from getting outside the confines of their mansion, and possibly even stop her therapy.
When I send her home, her eyes are red and swollen, and her fear threshold has escalated. I tell her at the door that I will text her about what I’ll be doing, and she'll be made aware of my every move to stop her husband in his deadly tracks.
The beginnings of my plan are percolating inside my brain as I watch her walk out to her car parked in the back of my office building. Watching the sun climb high in the sky, I know my visit with Queen Cleopatra is now needed before I put this plan of mine into action. I put my red cashmere sweater on, the one that accentuates my boobs, and I begin my silent chanting, in preparation for my resting meditation and lucid dream visit with my dream world advisor in Egypt of 42 BCE.
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