So I crave love. With the same fever that a Vampire craves blood. Both are symbolized by the color red and are…
But it’s hard to continue the thought of why I am here because the music of the respite hall grows and grows.
“Are you diabetic?” “Is that ok? Why are you letting these people ahead of us?” Anxiously waiting for over cooked beef patties, Sally stands next to Michael and says, “I want to kill somebody” although that talk is alarming from Sally, irregular outburst are quite the norm.
On the dining line we wait. People are going behind the line for crustables and bananas. It’s all so appetizing. You build up all your day, waiting to have various accented people dictate whether or not you can have French fries or not. We sat and ate wondering where the salt is. Why is it so invisible on the table? Laughter bounces from table to table as people discuses using steak knives for more than cutting into a porter house. Arms stretch out for soda, underneath musk filled arm pits, yet we continue to laugh. Everyone waits around laughing trying to keep up a façade of the happy terminally mental people. Fake smiles and laughter keeps the check marks away.
Clickity clacks walk around with clip boards recording you every move. Are they sleeping? Are they out of their rooms? Like hamsters in a scientific experiment, every move is recorded. Twice a day we respiteers are allowed a fresh air break. It’s a time where the emotionally challenged and sparrows meet. Sparrows sit at the edge of the nine foot tall fence that protects us from all the wavering fate of the world.
Mike and Kat desperately try to imitate the benevolent litter creatures, but are happy to find out they will be returning to their respite hall. As for me, I sit with my fever and chocolate stained night gown wondering if I believe all the shit that comes out of my mouth. I adopted a respiteer today. I told him, I was going to adopt him because I had a Jesus complex. A self gratifying need need to “save” those around me. Perhaps that’s why I came here. Taking essential time to save others, meanwhile investing little energy in saving myself--I become the one who suffers in the end. But at least I am here. Chocolate stained night gown and all. I have a cold floor to rest my feet. The constant music of the respite hall to sooth my ear gives entertainment that will last a life time.
I lost my Mary today. It was quite tragic actually. You get used to a person who really isn’t there. But underneath it all, you have this sneaking suspicion that they care. I lost her; or rather they moved her into another room. Somehow all this juggling came at a time with little comprehension as my eyes were blurred with tears caused from a fever. And now I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. It’s too quiet and I begin to over analyze everything around me. “Who is this new girl they put in my room. I hope she realizes that it’s my room” But all that selfish thinking gets put to an end by a knocking on the door. ”hmm” Is all one has to say. It could mean come in, or what do you want, today it mostly meant I am fucking sick and I don’t want you to open the door. Even why I slept and sweat, the world went on around me. New patients came and old patient went. Once I woke up, a tall Brazilian looking fellow stood at the nursing station. The halls were alive and of course, people were Clickity clacking about their day. But he stood there at the nurse’s booth by himself. Eventually everyone gathered at the dining line once again, and the Brazilian seemed to unfortunately find himself behind a busy body that was on a crusade to save the world. “Don’t have the beef patty, you’ll be sorry” He smiled at me and said thank you. The Ecuadorian angsty looking Italian and I sat and ate our lunch. While people were solemn around us, the laughter of inside jokes at the table abound. “Man I have so much food stored up in my room” I looked at him and laughed and dished about my stash of chocolate that was visible from the large brown splotch on my night gown. After the trays were packed away, and the garbage in the cans, people lined up in bunched up lines to get their soma. Some like me were wondering “where the hell is my soma” People lined impatiently waiting to receive their triple installment of soma. Some in so much of a daze that it’s a wonder they were able to get back and forth from their room. While waiting in the line for her soma, the sweet Russian girl quizzically looked into her soma cup. “What is this” She looked at the Clickity clack behind the wall who told her to be patient, she would look at her chart. The line gradually started to grow and people wondered why it was taking so long for the soma to be given. “The Doctor has ordered you another dose and type of soma” at this the Russian turns her back and throws her water into the Clickity clacks face. Now I have finally taken my own soma, Dr. Dougie decided that I should take two doses at night instead of one. I still have on my usual perky smile, but the blood starts to flow throughout my body. For days I wondered whether I was an uppity upper or dippity downer or yet somewhere in between. The multitude of thoughts that were swarming in my head began to fade out and all I could think about was telling him I loved him. Low humming’s of people talking to loved ones mixed with Jamaican accents seemed to over flow into each other. “Want a pretzel, Wanna pretzel” loud televisions blared directly into my ear drums even though they were so far away. Which one am I? I am a fool that’s what I am. Waiting for love to justify the energy I’ve given out. I sit in my soma haze in the telephone booth. Watching the comings and goings of Clickity clackers and feel a repetitive rush of cold and heat waves washing over my body I did have a fever after all but yet I sat and waited.
I gave him the number and surely he called me back and that in my crazy mind is is the problem. Soma cannot take away the delusions of love. The delusions of love which echo in ambivalence. No one knows what it feels like to go through the soma-tose. The hall had already quieted down by now and the only sounds were those of blaring televisions and a soft hum could be heard throughout the respite hall. Jessica, the head nurse, makes sure that all the charts are hung up on the wall.
I walked down to my room. On my way, I like to play a game called “who sees me” Usually I would stand in my taffeta gown with the two strings for modesty tied together—I would stand around the nurses’ station. Once I stood in front of Douglas for over an hour before he saw me. Perhaps my taffeta gown melted into the background of the walls. Save for a floating fat black face which was just above his eye level he really could not tell that I was there. This game isn’t too fun to play with Jessica or Gail. The game usually last two to ten minutes—not much fun if you ask me.
I lie in my bed and begin to feel the recovering burn of the fever. As I roll off my vinyl mattress and placed my feet on the cold floor yet once again, I get hit with a sort of déjà vu. I can see myself talking to someone in the nurses’ station. My mouth is opening and closing but words aren’t coming out. Inside the quadrilateral of the nurses’ station, they all are laughing so much, that it seems their eyes are filled with glitter dust. The once overwhelming bright lights are dimmed to a dull florescent blur. The whole while my mouth continues to move. I’m still sitting on my comfy mattress feet on the cold floor. I struggle to get up, I start to feel a sharp kneading pain in the center of my back. While I get up, rolling beeping machines making sure that people are alive let me know that even though I am having an outer body experience, I am still alive. It is great to be here.
I walk out to the quadrilateral and just like in my déjà vu- I am moving my mouth, but words are not coming out. Alas the reason is because the wonderfully attentive staff is playing a good old game of ‘who sees me.’ But still my throat is so enflamed that words just can’t come out.
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