Might As Well Live (Part 4)

The nurse hands me a cup with three pills in it and some water.

“What are these?”
“Your seizure medication are these two right here, and this is for your migraines. The doctor is just increasing the dosage because of your headaches – and the migraine meds also work well as a mood-stabilizer”.

Great. I don’t bother to tell her that in my opinion, in order to need a mood stabilizer, that would imply that i was having “moods” to begin with. My trouble was that i couldn’t seem to feel anything at all. But i’m sure she doesn’t give a damn. I take the pills.

“Good girl. And this evening, you’ll take the FazaClo.”
“The what?”
“The…anti-psychotic Dr. P. prescribed.”

Ah. That. I go back to my seat in the TV room, watching the people around me. A blonde girl who would have been pretty if not for her slow, dull manner and rather vapid expression is sitting very close to a skinny white man with bad prison tattoos, long hair and a black wife-beater – she keeps reaching out to touch his shoulder, his arm. It registers with me at that moment that some of the patients are wearing street clothes. I vaguely wonder what that’s about, but then realize I really don’t care all that much; were it not for my creepy room-mates, all i’d be doing right now is lying in bed – and the gowns and scrubs were comfortable. I do notice that i’m the only female wearing scrubs though, and silently thank the Giant again for that kindness. I just want to hide behind my over-sized hospital clothes and escape the leering eyes of the creepy-looking crazies eyeing me from the corners of the room. It’s not so much the leering that bugs me – i don’t like it, but i’m used to it. But crazy leering is a different story. I sit with my knees tucked under me, waiting for evening to roll around, so i can have my book, and see my friend Elk when he comes to visit.

I stare bleary-eyed at the TV , wondering if the FazaClo shit will help me to sleep.

I don’t know how much time has passed, staring at the screen; i’m alone in the room – i know the light quality has changed and that i’m feeling woozy and tears are running down my face. This seems to happen a lot lately; i find that i’ve been crying and i don’t remember why. I try to backtrack my own thoughts; everything that led me to put that razor to my wrist comes flooding back in a black, poisonous wave – and it’s unbearable – my heart starts to pound and i wrap my arms around my knees as if that will somehow brace me from it; but almost immediately, blessedly, some part of my brain throws up a wall. Numbness comes back over me. Better the disconnected tears than that.

Anything is better than that.

Just then, the Giant with the Terrible Scars walks in. He looks around at the empty room, drags a chair over to the table nearby and sits down.

“Ok, girl. So tell me. Why are you here?”

“Why are you here?”, asks the Giant with the Terrible Scars.

My eyes go involuntarily to the man’s arm, and i feel my face getting hot, not wanting to be rude. I look him in the eyes;

“I’m here because i’m not a very successful suicide. – i couldn’t even do that right, i guess…”

“Why did you want to kill yourself?”

“My life is an ungodly mess, and i just wanted to throw the off-switch,” i say, feeling the tears in my eyes yet again.

“Girl, don’t you know there is no off-switch? Tell me more about this ungodly mess business so i can understand.”

He looks at me, hand under his chin, leaning back in his chair. He’s got a sort of no-bullshit look about him that i like; the last thing i need right now is for someone to feel sorry for me, and i sense that this man isn’t the type to pity anyone.
So, i tell him the same things i told the Tattooed Man. As I talk, he nods and keeps the eye contact. I know he’ll probably tell me to stop being a little bitch, but I tell him everything anyway. When i’m done, he leans forward. I hold my breath.

“Well, girl – i have to tell you that i can understand why you wanted to throw that off-switch on your life. It sounds to me that everything just sort of caught up with you all at once, right? And you had the courage to make that call for help, to keep on going, even when you hit rock-bottom. That sounds to me like a strong person. So now, what we need to do is get you feeling strong again. Right?”

I nod my head – “Right.”

“Well, anytime you need to talk, you just find me. You don’t seem like you belong in a place like this – and it’s no place for someone who’s already depressed as it is. So i’m here for you, girl, alright?”

“Thank you,” i say, wiping my face. The Giant gets up and slowly walks out of the room.

Might As Well Live (Part 4)

Cory Monday

Chicago, United States

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Short story

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