“Your pockets are empty, yes?” her words echoed, sharp and overly-loud, off the tiled walls of the hospital corridor.
I assured her they were. I had emptied them in the car, and security had patted me down twice as we made our way through the building. Psychiatric institutions take no chances—especially not with cases like these.
Dr. Sorenson continued her briefing: “he’s an extreme case, granted, but they do happen. Everyday carryaddiction . . . not the most common of addictive disorders, but we get a few cases a year. This, though.” she took a long pause, and looked at me pointedly. “25 years of research experience and I’ve never seen anything quite like this.” She swiped her card and opened the door. “I’ll be watching on the security camera. You have half an hour.” She ushered me through the door.
This interview is with an EDC addict. For purposes of anonymity, we’ll call him John. I conducted the interview as an audio recording; what follows is a partial transcript.
MJ: Can you tell me how it all started?
John: (softly) Flashlights.
MJ: Say again?
John: Flashlights. It started with flashlights.
MJ: Tell me what happened.
John: My wife . . .my wife got me a flashlight for Christmas. Just a little Maglite pocket light—great little thing. Came in handy at work. I used to be a contractor. Then things went wrong.
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