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Fun Times at Grippy Sock Hotel (TW)

I grimaced as I slowly sat down in the cushioned chair next to the window in my room. The grey, evening mist swirled in the parking lot and around the drab houses and bare trees across from the hospital. I contemplated the ominous sound the doors had made when they locked behind me upon my arrival at 3AM two days before. No way out. Trapped.

A fellow inmate patient I was on friendly terms with came into my room. Let's call her Melissa. She knew I had been through stuff, but she didn't know exactly what or with whom. Her baggy, grey sweatshirt concealed the stitched and bandaged wounds on her arm that she had inflicted upon herself, earning her a place among the hopeless, desperate, unhinged souls that were temporarily calling this God-forsaken spot home. "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" should have been stenciled on the wall above the industrial doors instead of "Live, Laugh, Love." I considered commenting on this oversight to staff, but I decided against it.

Melissa stood next to my chair, peering out the window or gazing at our grey reflection in the thick, unbreakable glass; I'm not sure which.

In a low voice, she said: "My mom is sneaking me in some Xanax tomorrow when she comes to visit. Do you want some?"

"N-n-no. No, thank you."

"Okay, no pressure. I just thought I'd ask." She glided silently back to her room.

Damn!

As the twilight faded into blackness, I got into the bed closest to the window (the other one in my room was, as yet, vacant) and stared at the ceiling. Other patients were socializing in the common area, watching TV or putting a puzzle together. Someone flipped out and had to be "escorted" to the padded room. It was just a typical moment of time in a place like this. I didn't want to be around other people, but I didn't want to be in my head, either.

A rosy-cheeked, unnaturally cheerful nurse came in and sat on the adjacent bed. It was time for my "one-on-one." Twice a day, patients' assigned nurses talked to them privately for 15 minutes, asking them things like: "How do you feel on a scale of 1-10?" and "Do you have any thoughts of harming yourself or others?" After we finished this choreographed song and dance number, I said: "There's something I need to tell you."

As I talked, her red face got even redder, resembling an almost-ripe-tomato. She thanked me and quickly left. I heard her call a staff meeting.

A little while later, I saw them leave the nurses' alcove and head toward Melissa's room.

Detached phrases floated in the air: I want to switch rooms...The bed is softer in her room...I hate my mattress...I'm going to kill her...

Fun times.

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Twilight
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