"They had a special name, for a medicine strong enough to quiet pain itself. Heroische means heroic. So you don't have to be."
The hero rises into the sky, slays the dragon. Comes back down, burning like a meteor. Is buried.
But heroic is all he's ever been, even when it looked like the opposite. The call to Salat comes five times a day; five chances to remember who you are, and how you fit into a plan that passes understanding.
Rebuffed and denied by the hero, Dr. Graham takes Paco by the hand. He's neither heroic nor a villain, not down here; he's neither kind nor cruel. He is death.
It isn't her first time acclimating to lithium, so she knows the symptoms will go away. This isn't where Carrie lives forever; it's just where she lives right now. It's not the final way station; it's a siege perilous but it's not that. A vacation from heroism.
She's hydrating, she's up to six hours a night. "Surprisingly lucid," she calls herself. Headaches and dizziness. Like coming up through the Bends.
Carrie: "I was wondering if you could tell Saul Berenson how much better I'm doing?"
Doc: "What makes you think I talk to him?"
Carrie: "Because somebody must know where I am. It's not paranoiac to imagine that you are reporting to him, taking notes on him. This isn't just my last way station forever."
Doc: "Okay, if I were..."
Carrie: "Which is fine! I do not begrudge you that. But tell him I fucked up when I went off my meds after 12/12. It was a mistake, but that was the only one. The starting domino. So now that I'm back, I can be back."
Doc: "You were so convinced it gave you powers."
Carrie: "It gave me too many. I was a threat. I'm fine being less. The answer to crazy is not more crazy."
Doc: "You have never once believed that."
Carrie: "I've been in a mental hospital for three weeks talking myself into it. Into believing, or at least taking the stance, that Saul did me a favor."
Doc: "Removing you from a delusional relationship -- with a suspected terrorist, no less -- was the right thing to do?"
Carrie: "Sure, whatever!"
Doc: "I really need to believe you are telling the truth about this."
Carrie: "You and I both know that's not it. You are not curing me by making me say this, because the truth is that I am not crazy. Or at least I'm not here because I'm crazy. I'm here because I'm a loose end and a wildcard, and he didn't want me dead. So I will stop being those things."