Slowly Dying Inside
“Why did it have to happen this way? Why did any of it have to happen this way?” I ask the steering wheel. “Could have been so much more. Something more than an orderly at a loony bin.” I tighten my hands around the steering wheel. Tighter and tighter, “You do it for her. You do everything for her. Remember that. We all have a price to pay. You do it it for her.” Tighter until my hands feel as if they are going to snap. “For her,” I say before letting go of the wheel.
I gather my things and take out one more cigarette out. Placing it too my lips I exit the car. It isn’t much to look at from the outside and it isn’t much better inside. A passer by, someone who doesn’t have to be here every day would think it was something. Sometimes I try to think it isn’t what it is. I tell her that it’s a castle. That was a mistake. No princesses in her. No god damn gold either. Only think to be found behind these walls is horror. Could have done more with myself had I focused. The thought depresses me. Most of my thoughts depress me as of late.
Odd how life turns out I think as I finish my cigarette and stomp it out. School seemed like such a waste of time. Now that she goes. I push her to take it seriously, but I can tell in her eyes. She already knows better. So smart. Need to stomp that out. Too afraid to push her away. So afraid to do what my old man did. Trying to fight something that I know all to well. Wonder if my father ever had that thought? Did what he did for a reason I guess. “Good morning Frank,” one of the nurses says to me as I enter the building. A smile washes over my face, “Good morning.” She smiles back at me, ” Have a great day.” I don’t say anything. I don’t have time for this. Always something to be done. No time for friends. Just want to get out of here already.
We are all like this place, falling apart. Even more so if actually want to help these monsters. Damn place isn’t worth the check. Check is all I need. Twelve hours of shit and then it all goes away for a time. Creeping back in as it always does. “For her,” I whisper under my breath. More greetings and niceties. More bull shit to shovel on top of the other shit. We pretend so well we might as be just as crazy as them. But we do as we are told so we are sane. That asshole doctor walking around here is the worst. No one is as good at pretending as him. Maybe maintenance. The thought brings an actual smile to my face. I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen them fix a damn thing around here. I light up another cigarette as my supervisor explains the goals for the day.
Drag after drag my brain shuts off. Same shit every day. Try to survive. I want to do something new. Something different, but all jobs are the same. They’ve all been the same. Only the uniform has changed. Should have listened after the war. Should have done something with myself. That’s the problem though isn’t it? I never listen. I need to do what I want to do. Almost got me killed then and now look at me. No one asked but I had dreams. I’m sure we all do. Before the war, before everything in my life really happened. I used to love to write. Tell myself stories with the toys I had. Dream of amazing landscapes filled with even more amazing characters. Fill the paper with all my ideas. Until my father found them. Told me to get my head out of the clouds. Told me with his hands. Do some real work. The one time I shouldn’t have listened. She loves my stories but that is all that they are, stories. Looking into their eyes. I’m sure even the crazy ones dream too.
They wander the halls. Some of them so out of it they walk right into the walls. Those are the ones to watch. They become frustrated by their inability to go where they want to go. Throwing themselves into the wall head first over and over again. It won’t do anything to them, but “We are here to look after them.” They are so far gone they don’t even feel the pain. Watched one snap their own nose. They are so out of it they don’t even notice the blood in their eyes. What are they giving them that they don’t even notice the blood in their eyes? They all have to be watched I remind myself. They are all matches waiting for a strike. One day this place will go off. How I pray that I am not here the day it does. None of it matters though. All of this is just another day that I’m slowly dying inside. The shift starts and all I can think about is that I do this for her. She will be better. She will be more than I was. Traded in my dreams and out she came. Somethings are bigger than ourselves. Somethings are worth sacrificing ourselves for.