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by OPOVV, ©2019

U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan

(Nov. 25, 2019) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to ‘The Pulse of the Nation,’ the place where informed folk go to get informed.. Hello, I’m your Roving Reporter, your host, and with me is Professor Zorkophsky, in his rather nice office, to hawk his new book, ‘The PTSD Primer to Suicide.’ A rather ominous title, if I may say so myself.”

“It’s supposed to be, Roving. First rule of book-selling is to come up with a captivating title, something to pique the interest of the discerning buyer. And, as if you didn’t know, please call me ‘Zork’ as long as we’re in my, as you say, ‘rather nice’ office.”

“Okay, Zork it shall be. You are regarded as one of the top experts on the subject of combat stress; is that where you got the impetuous to write your book?”

“Excuse me, Roving, but your viewers and readers aren’t flaming idiots; of course that’s where I got my information. Now, if you can’t treat this interview with a little respect, I’ll go to my bank and make a deposit.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean any disrespect, believe you me. Look, just tell us what the book is all about and why anyone should read it. Wait, let’s get this commercial out of the way first.”

Ruby (don’t take your love to town” (2:54)

“Okay, we’re back hawking Professor Zorkophsky’s new book about our guys and gals who went the extra mile, for real, and not the ones who got ‘offended’ from seeing a statue.”

“You just redeemed yourself, Roving. Now, to the book: it’s not for the faint of heart. And it’s not a college textbook, which is not my ordinary way of doing things, as you well know.”

“It’s not? Then why did you write it? What’s the point?”

“The point, as you delicately put it, is maybe to save someone from blowing his brains out.”

“Oh; go on, then.”

“Thank you. Now, the gist of the book, the heart of it, is that some of the PTSD sufferers think they can escape by killing themselves and going straight to the devil, if you get what I mean.”


“And I’m telling them if they think that way, maybe stay alive and to live in torment for real, understand?”

“I’m beginning to.”

“If, for instance, they think that they did something wrong, made a mistake, and were responsible for something that went against what they thought their worth as a human — based on their core values – was, they condemn themselves. Well, too bad: learn to live with it and suffer for it. Pay the Piper, is how I put it in the book.”

“You mean to say, ‘Go ahead and suffer’? I mean, maybe they did something or saw something really horrible or, as you said, went against their core value system. So, you say, rather than eat a bullet and end it all, learn to live the rest of their life suffering, standing at the edge of the abyss, and that’s how it is: face it and live with it?”

“That’s a fact.”

’That’s a fact’? Aren’t shrinks supposed to have empathy?”

“Not for people who feel sorry for themselves. Buy the book; read it; and then come back at me with your simple questions. Look, I don’t want to sound rude, but it’s a delicate subject and there’s no use tiptoeing around the subject.”

“Have any of your patients ever committed suicide?”

“Not a one.”

“Well, that’s reassuring. And I see that our time has expired – thank God – and so, on behalf of the crew, I’ll be wishing you all a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Golly, Zork, could you maybe tone it down a notch next time? So you want people who are going to the devil to live the rest of their lives as if they are already there. You’re nuts, Zork. But you know what? In a crazy convoluted way, it makes sense. Join us for burgers: my treat.”

I Want to Talk About Me” (3:03)


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