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Poker Without Cards

Poker Without Cards

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Published by api-3708113
Dialogue between a shrink and a man you might think is nuts - until he begins to make entirely too much sense...
Dialogue between a shrink and a man you might think is nuts - until he begins to make entirely too much sense...

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Published by: api-3708113 on Oct 14, 2008
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03/18/2014

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[PAUSE]

When was the last time you spoke with him?

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
Last November. He was explaining to me how our federal reserve was a private corporation and that England’s royal
family actually owned controlling interest. He said that this was how the evil Sufis had created their own money
machine. He kept saying that he was running out of cigarettes. I kept telling him to go buy some, but that didn’t seem
to be the point. The last thing Bucky said to me was “Is this the most likely means to effect my safety and happiness?”

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
What does that mean?

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
I assumed he was talking about his job. He’d been having some trouble, some design and execution difficulties. He
said he felt uneasy and dispassionate. Either that or the fact that we live in a patrist society filled with too many fnords.
He said he was reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night. He had muttered something about Ulysses, but I can’t follow
when he talks like that.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTATION ON VERNACULAR: HOWARD CAMPBELL USES MANY NON-STANDARD ENGLISH WORDS. TO
REFLECT THE SPEAKER’S VOCABULARY, NON-STANDARD WORDS HAVE BEEN GOOGLE’D TO ENSURE ACCURACY. JOE, THE
RESULTS OF THIS INTERNET SEARCH ARE ATTACHED TO THIS DOCUMENT IN THE FORM OF A GLOSSARY OF PROPER NOUNS
AND NON-STANDARD ENGLISH. A DEFINITION OF “FNORD(S)” AND OTHER NON-STANDARD ENGLISH WORDS CAN BE
FOUND THEREIN. THE GLOSSARY IS MY OWN WORKING DOCUMENT. PLEASE DO NOT PUBLISH. THANK YOU.)

Ben Mack / Poker Without Cards

11

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
Talks like what?

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
All philosophical. Referencing stuff I haven’t read. It makes me feel disconnected. Like I should go online and
Google the words I don’t know. I probably would learn something new if I did that, but I’m essentially lazy.

[PAUSE]

Anyway, his talking all-philosophical doesn’t make me feel as disconnected as I felt visiting him, however. Is he the
same?

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
Richard is still in a catatonic stupor. Orderlies can get him to walk, but it’s almost like pushing him because he’ll stop
walking after three or four steps. He is still completely unresponsive to audio stimulus.

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
I tried making sudden noises and got no reaction.

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
Yes, you could pop a balloon behind him while he ate and he wouldn’t flinch. This is not uncommon. I am an expert in
catatonia, specifically catatonia as an onset to schizophrenia.

[PAUSE]

I couldn’t meet you then because I had a personal emergency.

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
The nurse on duty told me you had a personal emergency.

[PAUSE]

Why did you want to meet me?

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
Nurse Oglethorpe’s report said you and Richard have done drugs together. I’m trying to ascertain if his state may have
been drug induced. Any drugs or drug paraphernalia in his hotel room?

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
I brought cigarettes and a couple of lighters, but nothing illegal. Bucky has done drugs, but there was no evidence of
recent drug use in the hotel room. Is that all you wanted to know?

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
His blood work came back clean, but some drugs don’t show up on these tests. I want to rule out drug induced
catatonia.

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
I don’t think he was on acid, but I can’t state that with certainty. He has a history of drug use. I wasn’t close with him
recently. I spelled out what I could with Nurse Oglethorpe.

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
Richard Wilson is at the upper range for the onset of adult schizophrenia. He had paintings in his backpack, suggesting
an artistic temperament, a trait often strong among those who develop schizophrenia in their twenties. I’m hoping to
identify and more accurately articulate cues that precede this sickness. That’s why I have invited you here, because in
the absence of family and current friends, you are the most likely conduit for me to uncover these cues. I want to know
as much as you can share about Richard Wilson. The more intimate the details the better. I’m observing some subtle
similarities not previously noted in schizophrenic publications. I hope that if I publish these observations, we may help
alleviate, or at least delay, others from suffering this horrible sickness.

[SILENCE]

Ben Mack / Poker Without Cards

12

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
I take exception to your precepts of sickness and health. I hear your objectivity as a form of disdain. I am here to help
Richard Wilson.

DR. WILLIAM FINK:
We are allies to that end.

HOWARD CAMPBELL:
Good. I should mention, however, that I am suspicious of your methods. And, to the extent anybody brings harm to
Bucky, either directly or through neglect, I will hold you personally responsible.

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