"While it's clear you have just a ... an ocean of issues to work through, let's talk about what brought you here, to my office today."
"A squad car and two and a half cans of mace?"
"The incident," that furious scrabbling again. This time longer, frustrated; the pen was running low. "You know which one I mean."
"The Indian guy," I filled in reluctantly, freeing a veritable stream of thread from the little seam-canyon.
"Native American," he corrected me, "the Native American guy that you assaulted and forcibly stripped on 4th street this morning." The man's tone had shifted from casual to factual. The change was intentional, direct and disapproving.
Man, something about recently committed felonies really puts people on edge.
"Yeah," I admitted, "... yeah."
"Why did you do that?" The doctor leaned his chair back and fumbled for something on the desk behind him. He came back with a new pen, the hint of a smile on his lips.
"Extenuating circumstances." I answered. I had this thread thing down, now: Smooth, slow, even strokes were the key. You had to keep a constant, light tension going, so as not to enable jarring motions that would break the fragile strands. It was unraveling into little loops that settled in the space between couch and cushion.
"Go on," the doctor prompted, uncapping his new pen and settling in.
"I was walking down 4th, just doing how I do -- kicking at people's heels then gesturing to the guy next to me when they turn around to look -- when I bumped into this huge crowd on the sidewalk. After a few minutes of angry elbowing, I noticed they were all looking the same direction: Up. Then I saw it: Some girl was out on the roof of this ratty little hotel. Out on the ledge. Something in her body language -- I don't know what it was -- but I just knew she was going to jump soon. And there was nobody there yet. No cops, no paramedics, no firemen, nothing. Just the crowd of us, all the way down on the street. People were trying to yell things up to her, but she was too far away. She couldn't hear. I knew, I just knew it inside, knew that she would do it before anybody got up there to stop her."
"And ... how, exactly, did this lead to the fourth-degree sexual assault on Mr. Kohana?"
"Well it seems stupid now, but I guess I just panicked. We're all sitting there, knowing that there was nothing anybody could do: She couldn't hear us, we couldn't get to her, she was going to jump and she was going to die. That was it. Then I looked over and saw a Native American guy wearing a sleeveless denim vest and a woven headband with a feather in it. I saw a chance -- no matter how remote -- and I took it."
Really though, he was asking for it, dressing like that.
"The police report here says that you 'leapt upon Mr. Kohana's back, pulling at his shirt and screaming 'transform, you heartless bastard, take eagle form and fly to her! There's no time!' " The doctor flipped the report onto his desk and looked back to me.
"Are you going to make me say it?" I asked plaintively.
He stared back. The unraveling thread was traveling steadily away; it had traversed a length of inches now, if not feet.
"I secretly believe some Native Americans can shape shift," I admitted, ashamed.
"Why on Earth would you believe something so preposterous?" He started to note something on his little pad, but almost immediately moved the pen back up to the corner and began scribbling again, a look of annoyed disbelief on his face.
"Well, why is it so ubiquitous, if there's not some truth to it?! Every comic book, every sci-fi novel, every horror movie, every