Quite unexpectedly, a few weeks ago I was contacted by an author about novel that he’d written and for which he was looking for a publisher. I couldn’t help at all, but he sent me a chapter anyway and he’s agreed to let me post it below. It’s visceral stuff, and a valuable counter viewpoint for anyone – like me – who’s ever worked in an inpatient ward and been party to people being treated against their wishes.
The novel is called Memory, loss and possession of all the facts and it’s written by Christopher Crook. He’s keen for his novel to reach an audience and also to hear people’s reactions to what he’s written. You can leave a comment below, or if you wish you can contact him directly via me.
This chapter was originally called ‘Duel’ because it’s about a power struggle between a patient and his psychiatrist. It’s not exactly a fair fight though. I wanted to show how the patient’s mental health deteriorates the longer he is treated because, in essence, he is not being treated at all, he is being tortured. So he ends up much more frightened and ‘ill’ at the end of the chapter than he was at the start. This extract takes place about two thirds of the way through the novel at a point where the narrator is in an impossible situation because he must go along with a system he doesn’t trust – and why he doesn’t trust it becomes apparent.
Extract from Memory, loss and possession of all the facts
A fish tank, ping-pong and a trolley of pills told me I was trapped again. I could have been miles from civilization stuck up on the fifth floor of a dirty block of hollowed-out concrete, crammed to the limit and doomed like a prison ship on its way to an unknown penal colony, sinking. “Not fit for dogs!” someone shouted. The only way down was in the lift and the way to the lift was locked. Large, glossy pills invaded my body and took possession of it like a poison. It was Haldol® thwack and it hurt. My neck stiffened and my face began to twitch. I couldn’t settle so I stood up, sat down again, stood up, sat down again, then rocked back and forth to try and ignore unpredictable waves of discomfort that swept through me. My limbs jerked spasmodically. I couldn’t piss without leaning over the toilet, hands pressing the wall, concentrating hard. I got angrier, louder, hyper, as control of my body was wrestled from me. But to the doctors and nurses this was just my condition. A patient asked me what colour my drugs were then looked at me with pity as if he knew I’d been singled out for special punishment.
At ten every evening six days out of seven came a call for medication from a nurse who liked to work by night. She thought it gave her patients something to rely on, a sense of continuity, someone to wish them sweet dreams. She was a former nun from Ireland who looked like she boiled babies in her spare time. I told her the drugs weren’t working so she offered me more, saying in a creepy, whispery voice it was a tranquilliser that would help me find peace with myself. She was the stranger pushing sweets I’d been warned about at school; only she pushed Catholicism as well. A junior nurse without the authority to hand out sweets from the kiosk saw how agitated the Haldol® thedevilsinsideyou was making me and asked the nun why she didn’t give me some Restoril® toogoodforyou instead. He wasn’t there for long.
Sleep was a monumental struggle. Plastic curtains yanked noisily across bendy rails split territory between four of us. A chorus of intimidating nocturnal murmurings reverberated around the room, as I lay rigid, drugs and fear again. Early dawn came as a relief and was my cue to move to the common room. If I was lucky it would be empty and I could watch aeroplanes fly past in the distance, leaving smooth trails stretching from one side of the window to the other. When I stood closer I saw London and roads that used to be my playground as a student, now closed to me because I was considered too mentally ill to walk down them.
Weekly consultations with Lisserman were meant to be a chance to speak my mind. So I filled them with pleas to be taken off the medication. Then he picked bi polar affective disorder off the menu for me. “In other words?” I said.
“Manic depression,” he replied, and his long, spidery limbs were flung into a thoughtful pose, his skinny face too pleased with itself. Nonsense, I thought, but I let him choose my dish for the day because it meant serving me Lithane getfatandloseyourmemory with reduced Haldol ®kryptonite and any reduction in that was a relief.
Lisserman got friendlier, but only if I went along with what he was saying, and that got harder to do when one dreary afternoon a mysterious hard-faced butch woman turned up and sat with him. She only spoke to confirm everything Lisserman said, but she claimed to have arrived at all the same conclusions from a slightly different angle and used more esoteric psychiatric language that sounded endlessly rehearsed.
“What’s the point of you?” I said.
She paused, evaded my question and stated: “Chris, you are currently in the elated…”
“Elated! I’m just trying to amuse myself because you lot are so humourless.”
“…. phase of your manic cycle, you show no sign of the psycho motor retardation that is consistent with the depressive phase of your illness, but you must understand you will not feel like this for long. Your mood will dip. This is why you should take your medication. It is for your own benefit. It stabilises your mood.”
“So what phase am I in right now? The psycho motor fuel injection phase?”
She turned to Dr Lisserman who said: “We think you’re not fully aware how you appear to others.”
“How do you want me to be?”
“We want you to be yourself.”
“But you just said I’m a psycho motor retard. I don’t want to be a psycho motor retard.”
“Look Chris,” said the butch woman, “stop making things more complicated. You have a condition, and to help yourself you have to take medication that controls that condition. It’s not rocket science.”
“Ha! You’re bloody well right. It’s not even science.”
As the two of them exchanged glances I realised the in-built logic to their partnership was that in an uncertain business, two corresponding views were far more credible than one. I took a deep breath ready to fire my thoughts at will, hoping somehow that the heat of my emotions would incinerate my opponents and I’d be left to sweep their ashes off the floor: “You’re always saying that you’re trying to help me and that this is all for my good but the funny thing is you’re actually doing the opposite, all you’re doing is bullying me, and denying me ownership of my feelings. For god’s sake stop telling me what you think I think! Basically once I’ve agreed to give up my thoughts and feelings, once you’ve broken my will and I’ve submitted to your greater knowledge – which amounts to deciding what drugs to give me and reeling of some bullshit to justify it – once I’ve accepted all that, and your version of events, I’m cured and you’ll let me out. But until then you’ll keep me here because your professional reputation depends on you being right when being right is just you deciding something and then sticking to it. There is no right or wrong in this game but if you admitted that your job would change and you might even have to do some real thinking. This isn’t about helping people. It’s just about confining and medicating them. There’s nothing more to your job than the simple exercise of power. That’s all it is! I was educated to avoid the likes of you, not have you try and control me.”
“I think you need to control yourself,” Lisserman said.
“I’m not some kid who was told he’d never amount to anything, got hooked on glue then got told he was ill all along and not just illiterate, you know. You can’t manipulate me. I’m not 2D, I’m at least 3D.”
“Riiight… You’re not helping yourself, you know.”
“Yes I am. Your office, it goes beyond the walls of this room doesn’t it? The ward is your office. Mental hospitals are offices where people are processed!”
“And what is she doing here?” I said pointing at the butch women. “Are you lovers or do you just need all the friends you can get? And another thing, why does the bacon here smell of fish? What’s that about?”
“Riiight… I think it’s time we finished off. We’ve achieved all we can for now.”
“Oh go fuck yourselves, or each other. Fucking failed medics.”
I could only be polite up to a point. I mean it’s not like it was a job interview. These people were my tormenters; they’d taken away my liberty. What did they expect? I thought I knew their game, but I thought they probably thought they knew I thought I knew too, and if they thought that they probably didn’t like it, especially if I was actually right and they knew in their hearts, if they still had them, that everything they said was total shit. So when Lisserman said I’d been outrageous I apologised and was on my best behaviour again.
More and more people, some of them bright-eyed, enthusiastic students in fashionable rags, turned up for my consultations. I always chose the chair that gave me the most commanding position in the room. Once I moved my chair next to Lisserman’s and tried to engage him in a double act: “Who are you, Dr Who am I, The unravelling psychiatrist?” As I tried to undermine him with quips and interjections, nothing offensive, just light-hearted banter, everyone thought it was hilarious that manic depression could be such fun. The more I made people laugh, the more I judged the meetings a success. Tantalisingly I was offered weekend leave.
When I left the ward to stay with Melissa my first impulse was to throw away the Haldol® letmego. Even in reduced amounts it was intolerable. Melissa felt responsible for me and advised against it but she had no idea how tense and distracted the drugs were making me feel. They were a way of keeping my body prisoner even though I’d left prison for the weekend, a psychiatric version of tagging, a constant physical torment to remind me of my tormentors.
Drugs meant to calm me, prescribed to those thought to be a danger to themselves, made me so restless I kept wondering off, running around, falling over, hurting myself, accident prone like Frank Spencer, but not funny. And when everyone else slept off the Saturday night before, I was a deranged Alsatian chasing my tail, deaf to the order: Sit! So it was no surprise Melissa found it hard to help or relate to me. We used to take illegal drugs that made us feel closer to each other. Now I took drugs licensed by the government and pushed by my psychiatrist that made us feel like strangers. Sex was impossible. My body just wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. Had someone decided I had no right to such simple pleasures?
At father’s new house I was pleased to take full advantage of his large garden and galloped around it hoping if I exhausted myself I might finally relax. I tripped and suddenly my entire body was griped by spasms. Then as I bent forward and tried to get up, my spine and shoulders stiffened and froze. Melissa moved me onto my side when I realised I’d forgotten my side-effect drugs. I was manoeuvred into father’s car and rushed back to hospital where a nurse reacted incredulously to what had happened before reluctantly giving me the drugs I needed to counter the effects of the drugs someone I didn’t like or trust said I needed, but I didn’t want.
Week after week, same time, same office, same walls, same chairs, Lisserman said I was making progress, but little else. On the ward I talked continuously, hoping patients would warm to me, hoping to please everyone, often doing the opposite. A scowling racist threw a plate of chicken remains my way when he heard me say that, generally, black people make better athletes. Then someone who claimed to have played a monster in Doctor Who spat at me because I said Peter Davidson was an underrated doctor. Better even, in some respects, than Tom Baker.
There was friendship too though, of sorts. A bewildered Croatian spoke no English except one phrase I taught him which, in a place that always felt on the brink of anarchy, was more apt that any other: “Don’t panic!” A mysterious visitor offered to translate for us so I told him he was a big friendly giant. His face lit up, and to show me his gratitude he gave me a fireman’s lift that made me feel giddy and elated.
A well-meaning Welshman offered to be my bodyguard. He was struggling with a catastrophic loss of self-esteem having just been dismissed from the army. He insisted that every time we spoke we salute each other first and promised me a career in the RAF when I left. Maybe he thought I was already a space cadet so must have an aptitude for flying.
“What the fuck?” was almost all an agitated Noel Gallagher look-alike ever said. He punched me when I told him not to look back in anger but apologised later and gave me a Masonic handshake. Captain Jean Luc Picard was accidentally beamed into the hospital and was unable to beam out again. Resisting the Borg collective was futile but we had some fun trying.
With nothing to do but wait for an unspecified point in time when someone might decide I had a right to live my life again, storytelling was necessary to stay sane. But it made some think I was insane, and that’s what I eventually became: a pacing tiger caged in a zoo, driven mad by lack of stimulation and counterproductive tranquillisers not fit for human or cat. Why not look at London through a different window for a change. Smoke a different brand of cigarette. Drink tea not coffee. Coffee not tea. Hot chocolate instead. Nothing at all. Everything at once. Walk down the corridor. Walk up the corridor. Walk in a circle. Walk on the spot. Complain to a nurse. Get wound up. Get ground down. Hang around. Piss about. Get punched by Noel Gallagher again. Cry. Queue for breakfast. Queue for lunch. Avoid dinner. Listen to the radio. Turn the dial. Turn on the TV. Switch it over. Switch it off. Switch it on again. Wonder why there was a compass painted onto the floor. Stare at it. Stand at its exact centre. Spin around till I felt dizzy and sick, every single fucking day.
All patients were automatic members of the smoking club, except Jean Luc who said fags were Borg mind control. We met daily and, in smaller clusters, nightly, to share complaints and compare pills. They warned me to be careful what I said to staff, especially the baby-boiling nun: tacit acknowledgement that the nurses had great influence. They were power brokers between patients and their psychiatrists. Against advice I constantly fought with them, questioned their judgment and tried to second-guess them, but I never got anywhere because… I was a patient. So I started to think I was being converted to some perverse religion the basis of which was admitting I was powerless, not in the face of god, but of my psychiatrist. I was worse than a criminal because I’d got myself locked up without ever even having the character or courage to commit a crime. There was only one possible conclusion: This hospital was being run by a time-honoured alliance of Roman Catholics and Nazis. And then I realised, no wonder so many psychiatric patients develop a Christ complex, a system that makes people feel persecuted without them ever having done anything wrong creates them.
Still I had no idea when any of this was going to come to an end, which was torture in itself. I wanted answers so when my next consultation came around I invited Melissa along. Her presence only irritated Lisserman as he carried on and on patronisingly repeating I was making good progress, but refused to be drawn on when he intended to lift my section and let me out. “It’s irrelevant,” he said.
“But you’ll make me feel instantly better if you tell me when,” I said distressed.
“You need the time to make a full recovery,” he said, “and I’m confident you will.”
So how come he was doing everything he could to make me crazy or mad or angry or sad or ill, as he liked to put it? I used to pretend to be ill to get off school. Maybe this was some kind of belated comeuppance. My social worker, ever keen to have her say, recommended I have less contact with Melissa because she was making me confused.
And then I was surprised to be told I was “nearly there.” My care group, which comprised Lisserman, the butch woman, my key nurse, my social worker, the baby boiling nun, a magician, Richard and Judy, a cat and the kitchen sink, were due to meet shortly to discuss a supported hostel I could move to. Hearing this I very nearly cancelled my managers hearing the next day – my chance to prove that my detention was unlawful. But I had some points I wanted to make, first of which was where was the logic in scheduling these hearings so many months in advance that by the time they come around patients have either been released or are in a much worse mental state than when they arrived. I remembered Amelia’s tribunal that she won. It must have been so sweet to see her psychiatrist’s authority overruled. So I went ahead with it, I was even looking forward to it. Mother joined me, that way if it all went wrong she’d be there to fight my corner, or at least try to.
In front of three female hospital managers who looked like bread baking spinsters from a forgotten Shropshire village, and in her favourite kinky boots again, my social worker read from my revised patient notes. Now they covered events stretching back 18 months. She dredged up me crossing the railway line on my way back from Ireland. I groaned inside. Had I mentioned it to her at some point? Had someone told her? It was part of the trail I’d left, evidence against me. She said I’d put myself in danger. True enough. But she said I’d thrown myself onto the line. The truth is I’d crossed the line carefully after I thought I heard a gunshot. In my mind it was an act of self-preservation, not self-destruction. Anyway, why was this relevant now? Typical of her simple, tabloid mind, I thought. She’s trying to give others the bleakest possible impression of my condition, to consolidate my psychiatrist’s position no matter what, and make everyone think, mother included, that her lot are the only people on earth who know what’s best for me. Like some balmy cult taking me hostage, or being trapped in the belly of a whale.
Far from saying I was nearly there, Lisserman told the hospital managers I was seriously ill, a danger to myself, and in need of constant monitoring in hospital. Then he said something that really made my blood boil:
“It should be noted that Chris had a sister who…”
“How dare you mention her, she’s got nothing to do with this.”
“… I, we believe Chris is showing symptoms that are consistent with a schizophrenic related illness. Chris had a sister who was schizophrenic and killed herself by hanging. We believe there is a reasonable chance Chris could do the same.”
“What? Hang on a minute; you’ve never said that before… What the hell are you playing at? Do you not realise your lot did that to her? You gave her nothing to hope for. You made her feel worthless…and now you’re doing the same to me…you’re killing me softly with your drugs. Anyway I thought you said I was bi polar something or other. How can you call me something when you’re not even sure what that something is? You’re making it up as you go along! You’re improvising! You’re all actors! Stick to the fucking script!”
“Chris has been refusing to take his medication. Medication that we believe is essential to control his condition.”
“What! Your potions are poison and your diagnosis is crap. I’ve been told I’m so many different things I might as well be called Gemini and treated by Mystic Meg! At least she’d give me something to look forward to.”
“Chris’s mood swings have also given us cause for concern. His thoughts are confused much of the time and we believe he has little insight into his condition. He cannot look after himself without at least first admitting that, like his sister, he has a very serious illness.”
Shaking with anger and incredulity I snapped: “What? Are you suggesting that I somehow inherited this…this whatever it is?! Listen to me you bastard. You…you like to claim mental illness is genetic and physiological because then it’s easier to treat… with your wretched pills. Something wrong with my brain chemistry is there? I’m not mad, I’m just mad at you! I’m not even ill, you just say ill because it makes your job easier. You know nothing about mental illness or me and what the hell gives you the right to say what’s best for someone? Your lot put my sister in a godforsaken place like here…just like here…against her will where…where she was raped…and…and…you did that for her own protection! Was being raped part of her illness? Did she imagine that? She thought she’d be killed eventually and with damn good reason. So she finished herself off and got one up on you! If only you were just a pathetic fraud and small-time criminal in a suit. But you’re not, you’re so much worse than that…you’re twisted, evil…you’ve got blood on your hands… Who the fuck do you think you are? The world is full of wankers like you who make it impossible for nice people to live in it. You’re the fucking psycho…you, you fucking murdering cock-faced cock. I know, why not measure my head! See if you can determine what’s wrong with me from that. Where’s your fucking conscience, you fucking Nazi?”
Once again he turned to his colleagues who were all agreed that my outburst was a perfect example of my condition. I wanted to rip his face off. Had I tried, I’d have only had violent added to schizophrenic or whatever they imagined I was that week. Betrayed, sobbing with rage and gasping for air I couldn’t compose myself.
“I’ll get my revenge, Lisserman, and it’ll be served with your cold brain!”
I stormed out and headed for the common room cursing him for all to hear. Mother came chasing after me. Other patients asked what was going on, intrigued by the drama. “Those sick bastards, where do they get off? They fuck their children up, that’s how they learn their profession. Yes, that’s it! They practice on their children. They analyse them to death until everything’s their fault. They’re doing it to me and they did it to Amelia… Who on earth are these people to me? How has it come to this?” Mother held my arm and tried to calm me. She was as surprised by Lisserman’s blatant U-turn as I was but what could she do, he’d usurped her. The psychiatric system, with all its breathtaking inconsistencies, had me manacled.
“A royal pardon, that’s what we deserve, nothing less!” I said suddenly composed. “Now you’re being mad,” mother replied.
“What’s mad about wanting an apology? Who will ever be held to account for what happened to Amelia?” There was a long pause when a patient wearing a KLF t-shirt offered me a cigarette from a blank, white packet.
“What are these?” I said.
“They’re death cigarettes,” he said, “50p for twenty.” I took one, and sucking hard it felt like a knife plunging into my throat.
“Smile, you’re on candid camera,” he said.
Mother persuaded me to return to the hearing. When I did I was told my exit was most irregular and could count against me. I tried to calm myself and told the three witches, one of whom seemed sympathetic, another indifferent, another hostile – that I’d been assaulted twice on the ward by another patient and I felt unsafe. This, at least, could not be disputed. My social worker returned to my notes that, like a jigsaw hastily thrown together, now included misinformation about Melissa and miscellaneous comments I’d made about my parents. No mention was made of my favourite pop group or sexual position. Powerless and humiliated I left the room and this time didn’t return, leaving mother to record my fate. The managers voted two to one that my section should stay in place. But much to Lisserman’s annoyance they decided I should be moved as soon as possible to another hospital where I felt safer.
My care meeting never happened. I think they thought my care irrelevant after the hearing. I thought its cancellation was punishment for challenging Lisserman’s authority, yet more punishment casually handed out, salt in wound. With nothing left to lose I fell back on the only weapon available to me: words. Perhaps this was how my great, great grandfather felt as a Protestant preacher in a Catholic country. Isolated but driven. God forbid, perhaps this was my spiritual home.
So I defied the sedatives they gave me in the evening and planned an all-night sermon. My aim: martyrdom. My subject: psychiatrists are, amongst other despicable things, legalised drug pushers who hide behind a mask of bogus scientific credibility, hijack language, make it slippery, then use it as an instrument of oppression. I improvised around song lyrics that suggested themselves to me. They were lyrics that said more about my life, about any life, than any of the nonsense my shrink said. It didn’t matter others had said it before me. So what? It wasn’t about being original. I was just the messenger proving beyond all doubt that there was glorious truth shining out of virtually every song ever written. Words and music that had always been a defence against the banality of the world had become a defence against its total cruelty.
So “talk, talk, all you do to me is talk, talk,” led seamlessly into, “say, say, say what you want,” which at some point evolved into a rhyme of my own,” you tell us we’re mad, that we’re not quite right and you give us pills to stop the fright, but the pills turn day into night and everything you say is trite,” which lead to a chant of: “psychiatry is the enemy of the imagination,” which reminded me of a newspaper ad, “are you shamed by your English, doctor?” which was answered by a burst of Oasis, “all you people right here right now. Do you know what I mean?” Then why not add some Happy Mondays, it could have been written about Lisserman, “he’ll stamp on your fire, he’ll change your desire, don’t you know he can make you forget you’re a man,” or even better, some Depeche Mode, it could have been written about me, “you’ll see your problems multiplied if you continually decide to faithfully pursue the policy of truth. Never again is what you swore the time before,” or best of all, some Stone Roses, it could have been written about Amelia with the express purpose of pissing off the baby boiling nun, “let me put you in the picture let me show you what I mean. The messiah is my sister ain’t no king man she’s my queen. I had a dream I’d seen the light don’t put it out ‘cause she’s alright yeah she’s my sister.”
Never pausing, that would be failure, my game of psychiatric Just a Minute lasted four hundred and eighty. Sometimes sense turned to nonsense, the jukebox broke down and my monologue deteriorated into simple word association, but that was partly the idea. There was still method in everything I said and it was never long before nonsense turned to sense again. My audience came and went, drifting in and out of bed, between unconscious and conscious in a twilight world that was neither. Noel Gallagher came close to my face, said: “What the fuck?” again but didn’t punch me.
“Leave me alone,” I said, “I’m doing this for all of us.”
It was a gruelling but cathartic process by which I exercised my right to say whatever I damn well liked, however provocative. I knew that nothing I said would come anywhere near to being as morally reprehensible and downright unlawful as was locking up an innocent man and force-feeding him poisonous drugs. “Now that’s what I call mental!” I yelled. In the morning I called for Lisserman to be overthrown and imprisoned in the Tower of London then roared so loud I felt my body weaken:
“Oh fuck it! Face the music, Lisserman! I’m not going to take this shit any longer. C’mon! Come and ‘av a go if you think you’re hard enough!” I dropped to the floor, the friendly Croatian helped me up, gave me a cigarette, a gold medal in mental hospital terms, and said: “No panic.” Exhausted I turned the radio on. Don’t speak was playing.
Ward round wasn’t due till later in the week but that afternoon I was summoned to see Lisserman. The atmosphere in the room was arctic. It was no place for Mary, Mary quite contrary. He was brusque and unfeeling, spoke at me not to me and just ignored me when I tried to speak. He said I’d relapsed and that my Haldol® pleasegodno was to be increased to a dosage that far exceeded anything I’d had before and, as I could not be trusted, it would be injected. I knew he knew this was the last thing I wanted. “What are you putting into me? What is this Haldol® Why is it called that? Is it…is it so recipients think they’re the last person alive on a spacecraft to Jupiter that’s been taken over by a computer. It feels like it!” I shouted pointlessly. Then I tried to say I’d not relapsed, if anything I’d had a relapse, if that’s how he wanted to describe it, induced by events at the managers hearing, but he crushed my resistance with ease.
The meeting was brief but brutally efficient, a swift, deadly rebuke. And why was the butch woman sat next to him saying nothing with her back to me the entire time? What sort of twisted mind games were they playing? Everything changed; the threat was unimaginable and overwhelming. Dispatched from his office I found myself in Hell’s holding bay where insecurity had escalated to the point everyone was acting as if they had a gun pointed at them. Dizzying terror had spread across the ward like a virus. Elderly, previously calm patients were sobbing and others that only minutes past had been lively and cheerful were frantically, desperately trying to reassure each other that everything was okay.
The psycho was doing it to all of us because I’d actually succeeded in making him think I was trying to start a revolt. He was using all his powers to raise the stakes, turn the known into the unknown, turn back time and instil the fear of god into his bleating, useless flock. It was off the Richter scale. “Bastards!” someone shouted. “They’re trying to scare us because they feel threatened and jealous.”
Wordless, unfamiliar nurse giants in white coats appeared and patrolled the ward. I went looking for Jean Luc, but he along with others had beamed out. They’d been voluntary patients all along. They must have realised their error and scarpered after receiving some coded warning that an army of feeling-deniers was on its way. I couldn’t cope with the fear. Had world war three just been declared? Had the Japanese infiltrated psychiatry? Was this payback for Hiroshima?
Suddenly a friendly nurse turned up from nowhere and led me towards the door reminding me that because of my hearing I was being moved to a hospital more suited to my needs. The friendly Croatian saw me being escorted and begged something I couldn’t understand. “No panic,” I said as the lift doors slid closed. Outside I saw an ambulance parked, ready to take me away from somewhere I’d been taken. My relief turned back to anxiety. The way out was a garbage chute, and what the fuck did a hospital more suited to my needs mean?
© Christopher Crook 2009
Also published on doc2doc on 17 November 2009