If I went to sleep, and the day room was an aquarium, I would be less surprised than when I woke from that heavy, drug-like sleep. That being said, the air was charged with some kind of static. The ones with the clipboards and lab coats had fallen silent. Thursday assumed it was some kind of challenge, but honestly, I don’t believe they have the intellect. I told Friday that I think it had to do with their exhaustion, but everyone around me kept clamoring that we were breaking their spirits.
I never sought to break anyone’s spirit. It was uncharacteristic of me to want anyone to hurt. Sunday fumed, but he was always angry. It always boiled beneath the surface with him. His face was a red cauldron, and when you touched him, you were bound to feel burnt metal.
That was one reason I never touched anyone.
Also, I was certain that Tuesday was just a bodysuit filled with bourbon. Sunday broke a clipboard, looking like one of those wrestlers you see in bright purple Spandex on Saturday night basic cable television.
I expected a nurse to respond. An orderly to step in.
When a woman sighed, I figured Monday was counting imaginary nickels at an imaginary slot machine or waiting for the silent, invisible ball to bounce on her lucky number on the roulette wheel. The sigh was enormous, a whale moaning for her lover, and I looked.
It was one of the women in a lab coat. Her sigh filled my body and escaped out of my mouth. If that sounded like love, it wasn’t. It was merely practiced empathy. I felt like I had been in this ward my entire life. Watching people with addictions shuffle through and forcing girls with sallow skin to throw up, handing them dark drinks mixed with charcoal, but I would always walk away before the drink activated the gag response.
I was just me and the sound of vomit slopping against the toilet basin always made me want to retch.
Something about the broken clipboard, its splintered pieces littering the floor like confetti after a birthday party, irritated me. I felt empty inside, but there hadn’t been a party. There were no candles. Just broken pieces of cheap material scattered on the floor. When he started to break the pens, that was when I got nervous.
The ink bled on the ground, rivulets of color like ribbons of rainbow. It gutted me to see the carnage. The sacrifices of those poor souls, never to be made into men. Never to be made into pen, I mean.
The meaning of life is there is no meaning. It was as Voltaire had said, bury your nose to the grindstone, that is all the meaning there is.
But who had time to work when there were all these ailments around us? These broken men with their shattered anatomy.
If I could cure them, if I could find the anomaly, the common deviant.
But what was I saying? I was just another addict. Another man off the street, broken and fragmented. A chandelier that produced no light. Simple shards of a man.
Yet everyone around me hollered, “Vive la révolution.”
I knew they would throw me in the brig, if they ever heard me shout for revolution.