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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1906835-A-Matter-of-Conscience
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1906835
Phoenix visits his doctor and they talk about Phoenix's conscience...
Phoenix waited patiently in the waiting room for his psychiatrist.  First, there was a man with suspenders who was obviously very mentally deficient that bounced his leg anxiously for at least a half an hour.  His anxiety was contagious and Phoenix felt it in his chest.  Finally, a therapist came and took the man to her office upstairs.  The next distraction was a woman who was trying to multitask with a planner, a purse, and a notepad.  There was something obvious about her, too - she was not used to, nor was she very good at, multitasking.  She began crying during the process and changed seats several times in a 45-minute period of time.  Phoenix got up to use the rest room and sat down in a different seat when he came back to the waiting room.  The multitasking woman was gone.  Finally, maybe Phoenix could relax.  That would not happen, though, because another very ill man sat two seats down from Phoenix, crossed his legs at the knees, and shook the crossed leg back and forth, back and forth, nervously for the remainder of Phoenix's time in the waiting room.  Phoenix was an anxious wreck by the time his doctor came to get him.

Phoenix's doctor asked him how he had been.  Phoenix told him that the weekend had been rough, but that he was okay.  When asked why the weekend was rough, Phoenix blamed it on it being the last few weeks of the semester.  "School stress?"  Yes, Sir.  "How long until school's done?"  This semester?  This week and next week.  If I don't go crazy.  "I think you're pretty sane, Phoenix."  Well, I don't feel sane.  I feel crazy.  "I think your conscience is bothering you."  His doctor knew exactly what was wrong with Phoenix.  "But you're not doing anything wrong now, are you?"  No.  I'm not murdering anyone at the moment.  "Is that how you see it?"  Phoenix's wartime duties weighed heavily on him.  "If one of those Bedouins had come in and seen a man raping his daughter, what do you think he would have done?"  Killed him.  "Probably fed him to the dogs or something."  True.  It wouldn't have been as clean as shooting him.  "So, even though it was impulsive..."  Phoenix felt better.  Not about killing the man, but about the out-of-control feelings and crazy thoughts that accompanied the event.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1906835-A-Matter-of-Conscience