Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Comfort Food - A Read Along - Chapter 2

Lola's thoughts:
Chapter 2 opens with Emily wondering when she had encountered her kidnapper in the past. She talks about her first night, still slightly drugged and how she slept. She dreamed about flirting with her captor at the luncheon. While her captor sets up a routine there is still no interaction between her and him.
I decided this was by design. If he'd stalked me for any length of time, he knew how I craved social interaction. To speak to me would give me something he didn't want to give. Toward what purpose, I didn't know. If his intention was to drive me insane, he had a winner of a plan.
 Desperate to keep her wits and sanity she seeks comfort in movement and her past as a ballet dancer.
So I danced. To distract myself, to move myself out of this plane of existence and into another, one where I was free. The cell was perfect stage, plenty of room to pirouette and tour jete across it. 
After she finishes her dancing he brings her a water and she notices the pinhole cameras all over the ceiling and is enraged that her captor is watching. She then realizes his pattern. He wouldn't enter the room if she was close to the door. Only when she is in a certain corner.  She thinks back to her psych lessons on Stockholm Syndrome. Even though she knows that is what he is doing she knows it won't stop it from happening.

He takes her to the bathroom and he strips her of her last remaining possessions. Her clothes. She keeps dancing, and starts marking the days. At the end of the chapter he comes to her again and tries to unbutton her shirt. She rebels. He turns to leave but she realizes that she NEEDS more than just dancing.
"Please! Please don't leave me here. I'll do anything you want." I moved to him and reached out and touched him for the first time of my own volition. My hand gripped his arm; I couldn't let him leave me alone again. I couldn't keep up this maddening pattern forever. It had to stop, anything to make it stop.
She realizes that she can let him do things to her. She could do it because even though his soul was gross, his outside is not. She realizes that she won't be blamed for it. She was the victim. However, he sees through her  motives and leaves her.

Kitten's Thoughts

Chapter 2 sees Emily taking in her prison surroundings.  Grey walls with muted lighting surround her.  There are no furnishings, no tv, no radio, no clock...  Just a toilet and a drain in one of the room's corners.

Her captor brings her more chicken soup and crackers.  We all remember having chicken soup as a child when we were sick and most likely have it as adults too.  Our automatic association is something warm, soothing, something will make us feel better...  and now it's being used to make Emily see her captor as comfort as well as to remove stimulation from her very taste buds with the three times a day sameness.  Monotony, sensory deprivation and manipulation are names of the game here and she knows it.

I was pretty sure he was trying to break me, and considering my lack of escape options, I was pretty sure he was going to succeed.

As her confinement continues, she does what she can to have some activity, anything to experience even the smallest of sensation.  She even thinks about masturbating.  Sounds crazy, yes?  Who wants to masturbate when some psycho has you in his clutches?  I think that's the last thing I would have been thinking about, but you never know what you will do in a desperate situation to calm your panic.

He begins to woo her with small kindnesses to make her trust and depend on him.  He gives her water when he knows she's thirsty... touches her face gently while feeding her.  Yes, I said woo her.  It's exactly what he's doing, but in a very warped way.  He has not hurt her or forced himself on her.  No, he's been very gentle with her and taken care of her entirely.  He's fed her, clothed her and given her shelter... Doesn't that show he cares?  Shouldn't she feel gratitude?

People always think they'll never break. They'll never give in. CIA operatives somehow crack, but not them.
Seriously, how long could any of us expect to hold out before giving in completely?  You have nothing in your life...  Nothing but this ever silent man attending to you with no indication as to what he intends or wants from you.  You may think you're strong, but when your stressors are found and used against you, you will break.  It's just a matter of time.  For seven days now Emily has had nothing to pass the time except his visits and her thoughts which now starting to stray dangerously.

My mind was going down trails I wished it wouldn't.  His soul was ugly, but physically, he was beautiful.  I could give in to that.
Chapter 2 is the beginning of the conditioning of Emily.

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