The beeping noise traveling from room 309 to the center of the hallway won’t shut the hell up. There is a vomit inducing smell of alcohol in the air. And not the medical kind. The one that forces you to touch your nose, discreetly, after catching a whiff of Joe the neighborhood hobo on a Sunday morning. The nurse dressed in pink scrubs walks past you, pushing a medicine cart, and suddenly, you forget about the smell of alcohol or the beeping noise, or the fact that your sister is screeching bloody murder and how easy it has become to identify her screams. Now, all you can think about is if you have ever seen a nurse walk. If they ever have enough time to do so. Then again, it is a psych ward.
There are no urgencies, if you think about it. Everyone that’s here isn’t getting any worse. They can take their time. The voices won’t stop talking. The scars won’t disappear. The screams won’t get any lower. Not need to rush, really.
So why are you here then? Not just in the hallway, but here.
Someone walks past you again, a doctor this time. Your sister continues screaming and the receptionist has her eyes fixed on the computer screen. She takes a sip of her coffee. Bitch doesn’t even blink.
You haven’t blinked either. You also haven’t eaten because, a couple of hours ago, right as you were about to take a bite out of your sandwich, the bedroom door swung open and your sister began talking about spirits. She was covered in cuts. Razor in hand and all. There isn’t really more to recall after that, except that you ended up here. A place you didn’t ask to be…
If you think about it, you have voices in your head too. And, more than once, a razor has looked more like an exit sign than the emergency exits at a psych ward.
The receptionist glances at the clock, adjusts her eyes back on the screen, and smiles at something on the computer. One nurse peaks down the hall from a hospital room.
So what exactly is the difference between you and your “crazy” sister. None of us chose to be here.
If you think about it, we are all the same. If you think about it, there are no exit signs you can use without making one big, fucking mess.
Maybe the difference lies in finding a reason to stay another day. Another working clock, another hallway, another beeping noise that won’t shut the hell up. Anything. Living another day to take the bite you never took out of the sandwich. Maybe that’s the difference.
No, we didn’t choose to be here. But we do have a choice in what makes us stay. And there really is plenty of shit to see.
But that’s only if you think about it. Don’t think about it too much.
After all, that’s how you end up in psych wards.