My inner calm

I think the alchos like me. They take me under their wing, to a certain extent. Yeah, this is a mental hospital, but there are very few crazy people here. I am one of the few. The alchos are quietly sympathetic.

There is very little to do. We smoke. We sleep. We take our medication. And we sleep some more.

This routine sorta suits me. I have nothing to do. Nowhere I have to be. Nobody I have to be. My identity is stripped away. I am a patient. A faceless number. One of the hundreds – the thousands. I slip into the role easily.

As far as I can tell, there are only 3 crazies and about 15 alcoholics. The crazies consist of me; the big dude who wont wash or cut his hair, and a guy who loves fire so much he tried to burn his parent’s house down.

I sit in the common room beside the open window and lazily listen to the alcoholics chat. To them, this place is normal. Almost like a second home. A break from their normal life.

I don’t mind it here. But I want out. I don’t belong. I turn my mind to the problem.

Compliance. Thats what they want. Compliance. They want us to do as they say, and behave ourselves, and prove that we can be trusted to be released on the general public again. That sounds fairly easy.

My psychiatric evaluation is on Monday. Three days away. I can behave myself until then. The only problem is, I can’t eat. I cant face food. And this is seen as non-compliance. You don’t eat, you don’t get out.

Let’s wait and see.

Monday rocks around and before I know it I am being brought for my evaluation. As I enter the room, I experience a certain amazement. There are LOADS of people there. The psychiatrist. His assistant. A few case workers. The head nurse. and a couple of others who only seem to scribble things on note pads.

They look up at me with an air of interest and I can sense their quiet judgement. As weird as it sounds in a mental hospital, I am one of the few crazies they have probably ever seen.

The psychiatrist smiles at me and motions to an empty chair.

“Sit!” he commands breezily.

I quickly carry out a few thousand calculations. I can see my way of here, but I am not going to assume anything.

I look at the psychiatrist. And smile.