My story “Scar Therapy” in Storm Moon Press’ Carved in Flesh anthology is a work of fiction, a work of fantasy, and a work of pushing a taboo for my own profession. I am an occupational therapist, and I have done a lot of scar therapy. Injuries after dog bites, to car accidents, to snow blower or lawnmower accidents, all can cause a scar. Some people heal smooth and clean with only a faint line where the injury was. Other peoples’ bodies make extra scar tissue to protect the body. Their scar tissue is thick and pink, hard and firm. This scar tissue is easily seen or makes the tissue underneath very tough, possibly pinching a nerve, causing pain, or crossing a joint and decreasing the range of motion for that area.
I am gay, but I haven’t had sex with any of my patients, past, present, or future. It drives me crazy to see the medical shows where everyone is sleeping with their co-workers or patients (Gray’s Anatomy and such shows). I’m sure it happens and might be to keep a smaller cast, all the possible hook-ups occur on the show. It definitely doesn’t reflect reality 100% of the time. But there is a big world out there, so why did I write my story? Well, there is always a very special line we in the health care system sometimes cross. We see it in those medical shows. For some reason, their story and their personality mesh with ours in certain ways as readers. We all have our favorites, and my story is about how a therapist can bring out the best in a client. It’s about doing what he feels is best for his patient, and not himself. He may benefit from the relationship, but hopefully, the client’s needs come first.
I will admit that I have had some really hot patients, and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to jump naked into bed with some of them. But my career isn’t something I would gamble with. I’ll buy my lottery tickets and dream of a great book with a movie deal, but until that money rolls in, I can’t afford to risk a violation of trust that would get me fired. (Some days I pray for it, but I do love my work.)
I do know several of my co-workers who got involved with their patients and even married them, so it has happened. One of my co-workers did get involved with a patient, and during their therapy time, lines were crossed and things ended tragically. It is hard to see how things will turn out. I guess once you work with a person as intimately as in therapy, the scar that you are trying to heal runs deeper, sometimes into the person’s whole being.
Carved in Flesh explores these issues and collects wonderful stories from some amazing writers. Scars tell the stories of our life. They remind us of what we did and what happened. Not all scars are bad, but they do give us a constant reminder of our life. Sometimes, the scars aren’t seen, but these scars run deeper, scaring our emotions, our relationships, our souls.
Are scars bad? Some doctors feel that the scar is usually stronger than the healthy normal tissue on each side of the scar. I guess a scars, in their own ways, teach us about ourselves. What we choose to take from them and how much we use that information can either help or hurt us.
I’m a romantic at heart and always hope for a happy ending, so candles, and hot tubs, with a cold bottle of wine sounds heavenly. The ending of “Scar Therapy” hopefully is a satisfying, happy ending for my characters. My story “Pool Therapy” in Neil Plakcy’s Surfer Boys anthology has a damaged couple (following a head injury), and several fans have requested a sequel to see what those characters are doing. I plan to revisit them and hope to tell a new story with my “scarred” couple. The themes in these kinds of stories hit home for me, and I feel that their story is far from over. I’m proud of my story, “Scar Therapy”, and I’m pleased to be in as wonderful an anthology as Carved in Flesh.
Logan Zachary is an author of over 70 erotic short stories, his books include: Calendar Boys, and Big Bad Woof (7/2013). He can be reached at email@example.com or at his website.