He was told often enough that you didn’t need to be cracked to live here but it sure did help.
Around him was one disorder after another. People crying, screaming in the night, accusing him of things he could not possibly have done and doctors who laughed at his claims he was being victimised.
Their solution to his pleas was the same day after day. A jab in the arm that sent him to sleep.
He awakened the next day, and the torment would start over.
Next to him was always the drooling girl, drugged out of her mind the drool sliding down her lip and onto the filthy night shirt she wore. No one seemed to care, she was silent, they knew she wouldn’t drown or anything and so left her to herself.
He’d reach over and wipe her face, she never acknowledged him, probably he surmised she was not even aware of him being there.
Opposite him crazy Larry raved on about the demons dancing around him, Lucy the dark-haired girl leered at him across the room and licked her lips as she imitated slicing her arm again.
The kitchen staff would enter and dump his breakfast, lunch or dinner, not caring if his slopped in his lap, doing their job as uncaring as they could.
He’d help the drooling girl, putting her food to her lips in the hope she’d awaken enough to take it in. Then seeing her unresponsive they hooked her up to a feed line, walk away and laugh about her as if she didn’t matter.
Then one day the drooling girl was gone. He was alone. His only ‘friend’ was no more.
A woman approached him, said she was the drooling girl’s mother, thanked him for caring about her, said he was the only one who reached out to her. He wondered how she knew.
Across the room, crazy Larry was threatening everyone’s death if he didn’t get what he wanted. The afternoon ritual had begun again, and he knew he had to endure.
“I’m cracked,” he thought, “and I’m slipping through the cracks of my mind.”