Room With No View

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Nature “Underworld”

This is no place for the sane
Those cognizant to their surroundings have absolutely no business here
They are free to pay us a visit
During the allotted hours, naturally
But are long gone before lights out
And unspeakable things happen here once each day breathes its last

You wouldn’t know it to speak to the staff
Friendly, cooperative, and never less than accommodating
They run a tight ship here for sure
It is what goes on beneath deck that makes for choppy waters come nightfall

I dread the sound
Footsteps growing ever nearer
Then stopping suddenly far too close for comfort
Keys jangling on their chain like a rack of iron bones
And the click of a compromised door lock
As an all too familiar feeling washes over me like a tidal wave of raw sewage

Enough about me
Dear lord, wherever are my manners
Tonight just happens to be your lucky night
At least, tentatively
You see, you’ve been handpicked personally from around forty fellow inpatients on this floor
To receive
Special treatment
And wait until you see what we have lined up for you this evening
It may well fry your circuitry
And will most certainly leave a fair stain

Which is how they view me, by the way
A human stain
Not just me
All of us
Although they do have their favorites
And just to be clear
You don’t wish to make their most valuable primate list

Monkey see monkey do
Not here
Monkey go to theater
Monkey bite down on a rancid sponge
Monkey have its neural pathways cleared of any objects deemed obstructive
Monkey sleep
Until which time as Monkey forget
That’s generally how events play out here in Ward Five

Ignorance is said to be blissful
And to be fair
I would take that over any recollection whatsoever of what they have put me through
Presumably for their own vile amusement
Or perhaps
The advance of medical science
Who knows
Nobel Prizes don’t award themselves I suppose
Although I’m not sure this hellhole would be making that kind of shortlist, to be fair

Not to be a stick in the mud
But I’m sick to the gills of the fetid stench of unwashed bodies
Soiled bed linen
And the kind of obnoxious odour that pervades the back wards of institutions such as this one
Not to mention those peculiar schizotoxins
I used to find them highly offensive to my nostrils when I was first admitted
Now I actually draw comfort from them
And I don’t require a psych evaluation to determine that as unsound

Sometimes I can barely drag my legs out of bed
Others it is a massive ask simply lifting my head from the pillow
But good days like these are few and far between
And that is why I pretend to be dead
Seems the sanest thing to do
Seal my eyes tight and just pray that the late night ward rounds don’t single me out for special attention

Not sure who I’m praying to
As nobody ever answers
Not even the voices in my head
Makes me wish I was insane
Instead of purely numb from whatever cocktail of choice has been forcibly fed on that day

Then there’s the old hammer and orbitoclast double-header
Making their mark behind the eye socket
Where they have a clear path to the frontal lobe
You ever had a rusted pick snap off inside your cranium?
Retrieval is some headache
Let me tell you
And completely lacking anesthesia naturally

What’s a little catatonia between loved ones?
That is what we are apparently
One big happy family
A smidgen dysfunctional perhaps
But always on hand to watch each other drool with absolutely no knowledge that we’re doing so
Or feeling on the left side of our faces

This is no goddamn place for the sane
Those in full possession of their marbles are likely to see them scatter after thirty minutes in this cess pit
I detest it
In a way I’m not entirely au fait with
Truth be known, I actually kind of crave it
Besides, what choice do I realistically have
I could object but only my eyes can express my displeasure
So what’s the point I ask

Makes more sense to work on building up a resistance to their extreme measures
Biding my time
Until the lid gets blown clean off this whole stinking operation
Have been here for four years now
Festering like a septic boil
So patience is all I have now
Well that and this constant dull ache behind my eyes
Where it is all going off evidently

You know, I reckon deep down I know only too well that I will never leave this place
This brokedown asylum
My home away from any home I’ve ever wished to know
Here I am a ghost
Converted to an obsolescent faith
And slowly but very surely
Turning utterly insane
In my room with no view
My bad, in my new room for two
You didn’t think you’d be leaving, did you?
The nurses would never hear of it

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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1 Comment

  1. Thought it was going to be lights out a few times back there for Marcus. Can’t wait for the final

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