asylum on those god-awful rubber-soled shoes. Back and forth. I can’t rationally blame her pacing for my insomnia, but I do it all the same.
I feel the walls leering in at me each night as I roll around in my lice-infested bed, my eyelids clenched shut. They will probably look like two desiccated grapes by morning – swollen, sticky, and purple-veined – as I toss back the meds with bitter-tasting water. I just finished counting the blocks again. (There are 551 cinder blocks, 104 and a half floor tiles, and 25 asbestos-dusted ceiling tiles in my room.)
I was atrophying. No sex, terrible food, no music. There is no worse imaginable hell. Bored is bad. Bad for me, and even worse for the staff. I get creative when I get bored. Maybe those who tend the mental health machine are as much slaves as we are. I wouldn’t know, stuck as I am on the inside of the metal-insulated plate glass.
It’s “depressive ideation,” the doctors say, to think about the poisonous PCBs, polluting our bodies’ water by proxy. It is an “obsessive fixation” to mention the soil, leeched of its vital nutrients, leaving us all hollow as dried gourds. Granting dreams equal reality with waking was “magical thinking.” They had a nifty name for everything, and a real obsession with sickness. They saw it everywhere.
These things are just the realities of our lives, if we open our eyes. The lie is grinning talk show hosts, Prozac, the American Dream of normalcy, homogeneity, safety. The natural state of the human animal in troubling times is not happiness. Show me a man grinning in the trenches as the bombs fall, and I will show you a lunatic.
The first couple months, I was sure the story wouldn’t end here. I held out hope. I was, after all, just an overeager, idealistic kid. I thought I could break the cultural brainwash by hopping on a table with a toy gun and scream “You’re free!” Apparently that gets you a twenty-to-life sentence these days.
The terrorists didn’t just fly planes into buildings. Somewhere in that twisted rubble lies the shattered remains of this country’s sense of humor. I admit that the Shahada flag flying behind us in our propaganda video may have given the wrong impression.
Bottom line: ideas don’t count for a whole lot in this world, but on their own, they’re mostly benign. Ideals, on the other hand, get you a special jacket with one sleeve. Ideals get you shot.
Socrates said, “An unexamined life isn’t worth, living,” didn’t he? Well, a life inside a black box isn’t a life at all. Each day atrophies my soul. And with this goddamned three foot tall Venusian goddess squatting just behind my shoulder? – Cow teats jangling and flapping wetly, her breath sweet like honey and milk with the copper tang of blood – I mean, how can anyone expect to get any rest with that? It’s just not right.
Fuck is it ever hard to get to sleep around here.
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