Dear Dr. Reid,

I really hope this gets to you in time.

I don't want you to be worried about me or afraid. I don't have any of those thoughts anymore. Now all I have are the headaches. I remember when I first got here and started on the mystical cocktail of drugs that they doled out every four to six hours in those odd paper cups, after a week of that the girls just kind of disappeared from my mind. After a few months of empty-headedness I would purposely try to recall the most disturbing scenarios, the ones that were sure to make my palms sweat and my toes curl, and I would feel nothing. I couldn't see the whores, the crime scenes, or the cuts drooling with blood onto my hands. Instead just a blinding headache that would start as an ache behind my eyes, the generation of the idea, I guess, and then it would work its way all around my head until it felt like the medication was trying to squeeze the badness from my mind.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want them to come back but it feels strange. Do you know what it's like to have something there but know that you can't get at it? I feel like all of those thoughts and desires are just sitting back there behind this sterile white sheet of medication. I've gotten used to the uncontrollable and random squinting and pulls at my lips when I least expect it. I'm sure you know the technical name for all of the things I'm experiencing. You're so intelligent but so kind – I remember that about meeting you. I remember your eyes, your kind green eyes, hovering over me as I felt the warmth of unconsciousness threaten to over take me. I know they say that you go cold when you die but it doesn't feel that way or at least it didn't for me. I felt relieved. When I was younger I would have probably stopped this letter, laid down on my bed, and continued to think about that – about ushering a woman into death. I would imagine my hands warm and wet with her blood. Now it just makes the back of my eyes begin to ache. Sometimes I even wonder why these never ending headaches don't make me angry but then those thoughts are just ushered behind the sterile barrier. I can't even be angry about my own pain, Dr. Reid.

You know it's hard to even write these lines to you? I'm sure you don't mind reading them. You see so much worse on a daily basis. I've read those criminology books and I know you have too so this doesn't shock you. Do you ever worry that you'll find a crime that doesn't disturb you as much as any of the other have, that this one might actually appeal to you? I'm sure it wouldn't. Then again neither one of us looks like we could hurt someone, do we? Just two timid kids. You're so lucky to have Jason Gideon as a coworker, he seemed nice. It must be comforting to be around someone like that who can make sense of these things so simply and easily.

I never expected you to write me back. Part of me wonders if you get these at all –if they even leave the grounds. Maybe they're just keeping them all on file so in the next two weeks when I come up for release they will roll all of these out as evidence of how I should stay here. I don't want to stay here. I want to see you again, Dr. Reid. My evaluation begins next week and if I pass, my release could be as soon as the end of the month. I'd like to think that you'll be there when they make their decision and I walk out the front door. I can't imagine much that makes me happy these days but one thought that does seem to make it through the sterile white barrier that these pills create is you in a clean white shirt and tie, clutching that leather bag of yours, and welcoming me with open arms.

I really don't mind that you haven't written me back but I would like to see you at the end of the month no matter what their decision is. Would you come see me? My mom stopped visiting me awhile ago – she says I don't look like me anymore. I know I've gained weight, my skin isn't what it was, and obviously I am older, but I can tell that looking at me is difficult for her. Maybe I look more like who I imagined I would be so many years ago. Maybe I look like a killer.

You helped me before, Dr. Reid and I know you don't owe me anything but I hope that you could save me again – this time from the sterile loneliness and gnawing boredom that consumes this place. You're the only one I write for anymore, you know that? I don't write anymore because it makes my head hurt. I don't miss it but that's probably because the drugs won't let me. You seem to be the only thing that the drugs will let me miss.


Nathan Harris