So Many Days

January 20, 2011
Where am I? Oh, right---the hell; the gray and mint green prison where I sob in hospital socks and unisex gowns; where I eat cold packaged muffins and lukewarm water; where the boy down the hall is mumbling to himself about someone making him throw a chair, and the girl across from me who exhibits her several tattoos and pierced nipples.
It's been five days in all. I try and dance, but there’s no air for me to breathe, no windows to be opened.
Is it my fault that the crimson flowers that tremble down my arms enjoy falling? Or that I let them? Is it my fault that the warm, tonic makes me shudder and laugh as it goes down?
An old woman looks at me with falsely concerned eyes and hot pink lipstick. She has me color and finger-paint- activities that, in any other normal situation would keep me entertained. Yet there is something about me that doesn’t enjoy the company of my captors.
Another day, week, month?
I'm here again- hospital and medications....I must be really screwed up. This time I'm in a place where I have a roommate who loves marijuana as much as I do-- who looks like my mother from an old faded Polaroid dated the 70's. Her eyes are huge and her hair is a glossy clear blond.
This time I can't wear the unisex gown and I have to be weighed and monitored frequently.
This time, there’s a T.V. and I'm trusted to high five my inmates without shanking them and I can go outside and breathe real air--as long as I'm within the boundaries set by the dog kennel. This time there's a boy down the hallway that hits and bites the staff, who has to get a tranquilizer in his haunch. And there's another girl who's proud of her trails of scars left by the needles. This time, I constantly desire to take the tranquilizer needle and shove it in my throat.
I'm here for 12 days.
Back one more time. Where am I now? ICU? How? When?
"You stumbled," she said.
"You fell," she said. "You hit and scratched before passing out and being carried on a stretcher."
There's a girl nearby me who's face was on the news and she has deep circles beneath her eyes and a familiar face to which I cannot place a name. And I don’t bother to ask.
I sleep and cry and hallucinate.
I'm in my unisex gown again.
It was only a month since I’ve worn this uniform.
I barely recall being here... the days dragged on yet the memories are mere glimpses of it---a bit of sympathy from my brain cells I'd like to think.
For these next few days I'm told, I go in and out of consciousness and it seems like my realization of life is somewhat abstract.
I'm here for 3 days.
Then they move me upstairs.
A heavy drinker.
Whose life is so dramatically altered by my teenaged consumption of alcohol? I did not ask the government to use my family's taxes on me- or the salary of the impatient, individuals who've declared their nonexistent roles as counselors.
I'm here for a variety of things. I suppose that I have all these thoughts understood, and the places my ideas meander to I have geographically mapped... but I don’t. Which individual can say where the ideas go to, and if they come back? Which individual can say whether these crimson flowers will ever want to stop dripping petals from my wrists? Who said I wanted them to?
I could say that the nectar from my personal wiring is free to explore the outside of my arms, to cling to my wrists and elbows while it all steadily travels. My scarlet lilies steal a bit of my anger with each growing blossom and the cool sensation tingles throughout the nerves.
I am here for 8 days...
Don't worry, I'll visit soon.

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