Not the Doctor

“Look, Jack,” I said, “I need it. It’s like therapy for me, OK,” I attempted to hand him the belt.”

His blue eyes went wide, “Therapy,” he said, “have you not heard of a psychiatrist, woman?”

“Of course I have,” I snapped, still holding out the belt to him, “it’s just not all therapy takes place on the shrink’s couch. I’ve had a trying day, goddamn it. Why can’t you just accept that this is something I need, I NEED IT FOR ME!”

“I don’t hit women!”

“Christ, Jack, I’m not asking you to throw me a knock down drag out beating,” I rolled my eyes, “you’ll take the belt, I’ll get on all fours, you’ll stripe my bottom, and we’ll count ‘em out together. OK?”

“And how does that fix your trying day?”

“It breaks the fog,” I explained, “the fog of too fucking many thoughts in my head. Thoughts like nothing fit me in Macy’s because my body is wrong for the clothes, or my mother never really wanted me and that’s why she beat me when I was a child. It breaks the fog of those negative thoughts and quiets my mind. AND I NEED IT!!!!!!”

“I’ll not,” he said, tearing the belt from my hand and throwing it down on the floor between us, “I hate when you make me cause you pain.”

“It’s not pain if it quiets my mind.”

He kicked the belt out from between us, grabbed me and hugged me. “You’re a bright, sexy, articulate woman and I love you for all that you are.” When he hugged me, I felt my whole body tense up. I tried to pull away.

“Fuck’s sake, Cara,” he muttered, tears in his eyes, “you want I should stripe you with the belt and yet you wince if I hug you.”

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